A total of 1,443,311 vehicles were sold across the country last month, setting the seasonally adjusted annual rate at 15.3 million – up from 14 million at the same time last year.
Nissan (114,457 sales – up 25 per cent), Ford Motor Co. (246,019 sales – up 14 per cent) and Chrysler Group (166,596 sales – up 11 per cent) achieved the most significant improvements, while Honda (140,013 sales – up five per cent), General Motors (252,894 sales – up three per cent) and Toyota (207,952 sales – up three per cent) made smaller gains.
Nissan’s rise saw it reach a record for May, with a 31 per cent rise from the Nissan brand offsetting a 25 per cent decline from luxury division Infiniti.
Chrysler recorded its 38th consecutive month of year-on-year growth on the back of respective gains of 23 and 24 per cent from Dodge and Ram.
Ford came within 6875 units of knocking off GM – a feat it has managed just twice in the past in 15 years according to industry journal Automotive News: previously in February 2010 and March 2011.
Mitsubishi was one of the worst performers for the month, with sales falling 15 per cent compared with the same month in 2012. Acura, Buick, Chrysler brand, Mini and Volkswagen brand joined it in experiencing small monthly losses.
Nationwide sales after the first five months of the year sit at 6,416,845 – up seven per cent on 2012 – putting the industry on track for its best calendar year since 2007.
Australian new-vehicle sales data for May will be released tomorrow at 12pm.