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Buffalo-area car sales stayed on their upward track in May.

Sales at franchised-new car dealers who disclosed their sales – Chevrolet does not – reported a 4 percent increase from a year ago, to 4,998 units, according to Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association. For the first five months of 2013, sales were up 8 percent from the same period in 2012, to 23,112 units.

May’s sales figure for the region was identical to April’s. And it was the best reported May total since 2008.

Ford’s 14 participating dealers led among brands reporting their figures, even though Ford’s combined total was down 8.4 percent from last year. Toyota was next highest, increasing 5.7 percent to 796 units. It was easily the brand’s best total of this year and its highest for any month since March 2012. Toyota’s U.S. sales for May were up 2.5 percent from the year before.

Mike Basil, owner of Basil Toyota in Lockport, said his dealership tied its best-ever month in May, with 233 deliveries.

Across the Basil dealer group, four stores set sales records, he said. “June is starting off well and we might see some more records set again.”

Separately, Mike Basil is making preparations to open a new Volkswagen dealership in Lockport. It is looking toward opening in late fall or early winter, once the building plans are approved, he said.

Toyota was followed by Honda, which recorded a 17 percent increase to 425 units sold. Among the top 10 brands that reported their sales, seven reported increases from a year ago.

Automotive News said U.S. new-vehicle sales in May increased 8 percent, thanks in part to increased sales of pickups.

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Auto sales stay strong

Brand* May ’13 May ’12 % change

Ford 1,151 1,257 -8.4

Toyota 796 753 +5.7

Honda 425 364 +16.7

Nissan 303 274 +10.6

Dodge 276 182 +51.6

Kia 251 262 -4.2

Jeep 234 222 +5.4

Hyundai 229 336 -31.8

GMC 198 140 +41.4

Subaru 192 152 +26.3

Source: Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association.

*Chevrolet does not disclose figures

email: mglynn@buffnews.com