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SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- The number of registered vehicles in South Korea rose 2 percent to reach 23.68 million last year, driven by increased purchases of lower-emission and imported models, the transport ministry said Thursday.
Auto registrations came to 23.68 million at the end of December, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
"The number of car registrations is likely to grow steadily for the time being, though not rapidly, as multiple-member households increasingly own two to three vehicles and single-member households also have a car," a ministry official said.
Vehicles made by the country's five carmakers -- Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Korea Co., Renault Samsung Motors Corp. and SsangYong Motor Co. -- claimed 90 percent of the total registrations last year, with imported brand models accounting for the remainder, it said.
The proportion of imported cars continued to rise last year, reaching 10 percent, up from 2.5 percent in 2009, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the cumulative number of eco-friendly autos topped 600,000 last year for the first time as fuel and environment-conscious customers increasingly opted for such vehicles, the data showed.
The proportion of green cars in the overall auto market rose to 2.5 percent last year from 2 percent the previous year.