Global automakers delivered 7.56 million vehicles in May 2016 according to Wards Auto, representing a 4.6% increase in the same period last year. Worldwide, sales were up 3.8% for the first five months of the year, with a total of 37.76 million vehicles sold.
The report stated that May sales in Europe rose 12.5% with 1.75 million units. Gains in France (+23.2%) and Italy (+28.0%) helped the region reach its highest May total since 2011.
The Asia-Pacific region witnessed an 8.1% year-over-year improvement, with 3.53 million deliveries. Despite the start of the rainy season, sales soared 15.9% in Thailand and 32.8% in Vietnam. After a small rise in April, Japan’s total slipped 1.2% below year-ago to 332,000 units.
In China, sales improved 10.0% to 2.09 million vehicles. Chinese brands grew their share of passenger-vehicle sales by 12.9% to clench 40% of the market. GM and its joint ventures reported a May record of 295,282 sales in China, citing increased demand for Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands.
Year-to-date, the Asia-Pacific region’s total grew 5.2% to 18.56 million sales. Without the boost from market giant China, the region was up 1.7% over same-period 2015.
South America sales continued to shrink below last year’s levels, falling 11.9% to 310,000 vehicles in May. In the first five months of the year, South America sales dropped 18% on 2015 figures, with a total of 1.5 million units.
In North America, increased demand in Mexico (+19.4%) was not enough to balance low sales in the U.S. (-6.1%) and Canada (-1.6%). The region’s total fell 4.3% below last year to 1.89 million vehicles. In the first five months of the year some 8.68 million vehicles have been sold in the region, outpacing the same period of 2015 by 2.4%.