Nissan’s U.S. sales shot up 25% in May to a record

114,457 units, leading the auto industry to an 8% gain in

sales over May of 2012 at 1.44 million units. And while

Nissan had the strongest results of any large auto maker,

much smaller Subaru had an even bigger percentage gain

– up 34% to 39,892.

Domestic car companies Ford Motor Company and

Chrysler Group also posted strong gains as the industry

overall rebounded to a seasonally adjusted annual

rate (SAAR) of sales of 15.3 million units –

compared to 14 million a year ago. SAAR

had dipped below 15 million in April after five

straight months above the mark. Demand for

pickups and crossover vehicles continued to be

especially strong, but consumer buying of new

vehicles was strong for all types of cars and

light trucks in May.

Ford Motor Company sales rose 14% to

246,019. The Ford division was up 15%, but

Lincoln was little better than flat. Chrysler

Group was up 11% to 166,596. Ram led the charge with a

24% gain, with Dodge up 23%, Jeep and Fiat each up 15,

and Chrysler down 2%.

General Motors was only up 3% to 252,894, seeing its

advantage over Ford narrowing. Cadillac, however, saw

sales shoot up 40%. So far in 2013 the luxury brand is

experiencing its strongest sales gains since 1976 – when

Gerald Ford was President and disco was king. GMC was

up 7% and Chevrolet 1%, while Buick was down 3%.

Toyota Motor Company matched GM’s 3% gain to

207,952. Scion gained 9%, Lexus 4% and Toyota 2%.

American Honda was up 5% to 140,013, with Honda up

5% and Acura down 2%.

Nissan’s 25% overall gain came from a 31% gain for

the Nissan nameplate, while Infiniti fell 25%. Mazda sales

were up 19% to 24,270. Mitsubishi sales fell 15% to 4,715.

Hyundai Group gained 2% to 120,685, with Hyundai up

2% and Kia up 1%.

Volkswagen total sales were

up 4% to 55,404. Porsche was up

38% and Audi gained 15%, but

Volkswagen was down 2%. BMW

Group gained 10% to 31,258,

with BMW up 14% and Mini down

3%. Daimler AG sales rose 8% to

27,359, with Smart USA up 16%

and Mercedes-Benz up 8%.

Jaguar Land Rover sales

gained 11% to 4,989, with Jaguar

up 34% and Land Rover up 3%.

Volvo sales in the U.S. for May

were up 1% to 6,329.