The South Korea government has agreed at a meeting of ministers earlier to delay the start of its low-carbon vehicle incentive programme from 2015 to 2020.

The government decided not to "overburden" carmakers and certain vehicle user groups with overly stringent regulations while continuing to encourage purchases of green cars through more targeted campaigns.

The decision was made ahead of GM Korea’s announcement to resume production of mini-commercial vehicles after an eight-month suspension because new technical requirements had made the range unviable. 

GM’s Labo and Damas are the only mini commercial vehicles produced in South Korea and are popular small trader and retailer purchases. Around 11,000 units were sold locally in 2013 and 3,000 were exported.

A government spokesman said its budget for subsidies for electric vehicles will be increased in 2015 while tax breaks of KRW2.7m (US$2,610) for hybrid-electric vehicles will be extended beyond the end of 2015. 

The government will also offer rebates of KRW1m ($967) to buyers of vehicles with CO2 emission levels below 100g/km.

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