Despite the annual sales rate dipping from 14.42 million in April to 13.78 million, May retail sales were 25.7 percent higher than May 2011, according to Autodata Corp. Leading the way were General Motors, Ford and Toyota, with each carmaker eclipsing the 200,000-unit mark last month.

BMW: The German automaker realized its best May sales since 2008, selling 28,345 vehicles — a 7.1 percent increase vs. a year ago. To date, the BMW Group has sold 130,973 units in 2012, a 12.2 percent increase vs. 2011. Leading the way were the 5 Series, up 45.3 percent to 6,102 units; the 6 Series, up 159.9 percent to 725 units; and the Sports Activity Vehicle segment, up 23.8 percent to 6,939 units.

Chrysler: The domestic carmaker realized a 30.1 percent sales gain in May, its strongest sales gain since 2007. Chrysler sold 150,041 units. On a year-to-date basis, retail sales are tracking 32.7 higher than a year ago, with 689,257 units sold.

Sales for Fiat were 127.6 percent higher than last year, with 4,003 units sold. Year to date, sales are up 431.7 percent, with 16,702 total units sold.

Ford: May sales were favorable for Ford, as the domestic carmaker realized a 12.6 increase in overall sales vs. last year, with sales totaling 215,699 units. The Ford Fusion topped the list in May, with consumers driving away with a total 26,857 Fusion units. To date, Ford vended 933,179 units — a 6.5 percent jump from the previous year. Sales on light trucks increased by 16.9 percent vs. May 2011, with 135,811 units sold. Car sales managed a 6 percent boost, totaling a 79,888 units for the month.

General Motors: The company sold 10.9 percent more vehicles compared to May 2011, with 245,256 units sold. The domestic carmaker also reported a 2 percent increase for the calendar year vs. a year ago, with its dealers rolling 1.06 million units. Light trucks led the way, capturing a 17.4 increase in sales vs. a year ago, with sales totaling 144,635 truck sales. Car sales slid 2.6 percent increase, with total sales coming in at 100,621 vehicles.

Honda: Rebounding from last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Honda’s sales climbed 47.6 percent vs. the year-ago period. The Japanese carmaker reported total sales of 133,997 units. So far in 2012, Honda has sold 10.1 percent more than in 2011, with 576,174 vehicles rolling off the lots this year. Car sales led the way with 74,274 units sold — a 53.8 percent jump from a year ago. Light truck sales were up by 72.8 percent vs. May 2011 and up 13.3 percent year to date, with 259,550 Honda trucks sold this year.

Hyundai: The Korean automaker realized its best May ever, and its second best month in company history. Sales also eclipsed the 60,000-unit mark for the third month in a row in May, with officials reporting that fleet sales were mixed down to 7 percent. The Sonata (20,765) and Elantra (18,877) models led the way for Hyundai makes. So far this year, Hyundai has sold 292,856 units, up from 263,588 units sold last year.

Mazda: The automaker realized a 13.9 percent increase in sales vs. a year ago, as well as 20.2 percent increase in sales on a year-to-date basis. Sales totaled 20,357 units in May and 123,886 for the year. While car sales remained nearly identical to last year, selling only six more vehicles this May vs. last, truck sales improved by 44.6 percent for the month, with 8,067 rolling off dealership lots. Truck sales this year, however, are down by nine vehicles, with year-to-date sales totaling 37,176 sales. Car sales for the year totaled 86, 710 units in May, up by 31.6 percent from this time last year.

Mercedes-Benz: Car sales for the German automaker are up 3.1 percent for the year, with 122,600 cars sold. For the month of May, Mercedes-Ben z brand sales were up 4 percent vs. a year ago, with 113,136 vehicles sold. Smart brand car sales fell 6.9 percent to 9,464 vehicles sold, but sales to date are up 3.4 percent.

Mitsubishi: The automaker reported the best sales month in May since Sept. 2011, but overall sales in May dropped 26.3 percent. The carmaker sold 5,575 sales in May, while year-to-date sales total 27,462 units. Car sales dropped 30.1 percent in May vs. a year ago, while truck sales fell 18.6 percent vs. a year ago.

Nissan: Realizing a 20.5 percent boost in sales vs. May 2011, the automaker rolled 91,794 vehicles for the month. Nissan retailed 12.1 percent more cars year to date, with 485,484 units sold. Sales of Nissan cars inched up 5 percent in May, with 55,129 units sold. Trucks fared significantly better, with the carmaker realizing a 55 increase vs. last May, with 36,665 trucks rolling off dealer lots. Year-to-date sales in May increased 6.3 percent for cars and 24.5 percent for trucks vs. the year-ago period.

Toyota: The Japanese automaker sold 202,973 vehicles in May, a dramatic 87.3 percent turnaround from last year, when the company was suffering through supply shortages in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The company also realized a 23.7 percent increase in year-to-date sales, with 868,301 units sold so far this year. Car sales skyrocketed by 100.4 percent, with 114,043 vehicles sold in May 2012. Truck sales followed suit, jumping 72.8 percent from the year-ago period.

Volkswagen/Audi: The German automaker’s Volkswagen brand experienced a 28.4 percent increase in sales vs. a year ago, with sales totaling 38,657 units — an all-time high for U.S. sales. May’s performance also marked the 17th straight month of record sales. Audi brand sales were up 10 percent in May vs. a year ago, with 11,503 units sold.

Overall, Volkswagen realized a 23.5 percent rise in sales, with 50,407 units sold in May and a 30.1 percent boost year to date.