The number of imported vehicles on the road in South Korea last month passed 600,000 for the first time, reflecting growing demand for foreign cars.

Around 9,000 imported cars were registered in January, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

In 2011, the number of imported cars registered was 105,037, up 16% year on year and over 100,000 for the first time, according to separate data from the agency.

BMW is the most popular import with 108,273 models currently on South Korean roads. Mercedes-Benz was next with 92,406 units, followed by Lexus with 52,361.