The number of registered passenger vehicles in Korea is expected to top 20 million this month, heralding the advent of the "one household with two cars" era, data showed Tuesday.
The number of registered passenger cars here came to 19,964,178 as of the end of May, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
It marked a steady increase from 19.7 million in January, 19.75 million in February, 19.82 million in March and 19.89 million in April.
It's almost certain that the figure will exceed 20 million within this month should the trend continue.
It means, on average, each four-person household owns 1.55 cars.
By type, the number of sedans totaled 16.1 million, or 80.8 percent, last month, while those of cargo trucks and vans came to 3 million and 764,000, respectively
Nearly 16.1 million passenger cars registered were locally produced and 1.15 million were foreign brands.
South Korea had only 46,000 registered passenger vehicles in 1970, representing one car per 100 households.
As of May 2006, the number jumped to 14.7 million.
Experts emphasize that despite the remarkable growth in quantity, South Korea has yet to improve relevant infrastructure and systems.
"Twenty million passenger vehicles mean that South Korea has entered the era of one household with two cars, as the number of those owned by ordinary people here has risen to the level of advanced nations," Kim Phil-soo, a professor at Daerim University College in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, said. "With the purchase of second cars on the increase, there should be the spread of eco-friendly vehicles including electric ones."
The government also should establish a new traffic and vehicle safety system, he added. (Yonhap)