AutoNation Inc., the largest U.S. dealership group, said its new-vehicle retail sales rose 11 percent in May compared with last May.
AutoNation, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., retailed 26,372 vehicles last month, compared with 23,763 during the same month last year.
U.S. light-vehicle sales were up 8 percent in May -- led by Subaru, Nissan North America, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group -- according to the Automotive News Data Center.
AutoNation's same-store retail sales rose 8 percent to 25,566 units last month.
Its premium luxury vehicle sales were up 17 percent to 4,904 in May. There was a 20 percent increase in BMW sales and a 13 percent increase in Mercedes-Benz sales.
Vehicle sales of the company's domestic brands increased 14 percent to 8,287 units. The company announced a 17 percent gain in Ford sales.
Import brand vehicle sales were up 7 percent to 13,181 units, and Toyota sales increased 7 percent.
Sales of AutoNation's vehicles were up 8 percent in Florida and 15 percent in California.
AutoNation's sales for the first five months were up 10 percent to 116,550, compared with 105,746 in the same period last year.
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" today that U.S. sales should continue moving beyond the current 15 million-plus range for the seasonally adjusted annual rate.
"We're still on our way back to something greater than 16 million units," Jackson said. "The difference this time from the last time we were over 16 million is that the old auto industry needed 16 million just to break even. Today the industry has reinvented itself to where the manufacturers and suppliers are making money at 11 million."
The energy and housing recovery is leading to a rise in pickup sales, AutoNation said in a statement.
Jackson said light-truck sales were up 27 percent for the company in May.
AutoNation ranks No. 1 on the Automotive News list of the top 125 dealership groups in the United States with new-vehicle retail sales of 267,810 in 2012.