Strong October vehicle sales in most world regions, plus comparisons with depleted year-ago results in parts of Asia, contributed to a total 6.66 million deliveries, marking a 5.8% gain over year-ago, according to a WardsAuto report.

The increase came on the heels of September’s decline, compared with prior-year, the first such dip in 10 months.

Gains in North America in October were stymied somewhat by Superstorm Sandy, which analysts estimate cost the U.S. market 30,000 to 60,000 deliveries. Total sales across the region grew 6.9%.

U.S. vehicle deliveries rose just 6.6% in the month, compared with year-ago, the smallest uptick in North America. Canada increased 7.6%, while Mexico enjoyed a 10.9% gain.

North America’s 1.34 million vehicle sales accounted for 20.2% of global results in October and brought the region’s year-to-date deliveries to 14.5 million units, up 13% from prior-year.

In the Asia/Pacific region, China, the world’s No.1 vehicle market, returned to the positive side last month, up 5.3% after September sales failed to reach year-ago levels.

Vehicle deliveries in Thailand, running against flood-devastated year-ago results, surged 233.2%, accounting for more than a third of the region’s overall gains. However, sales in Japan fell compared with like-2011.

Asia/Pacific markets accounted for 44.1% of global vehicle sales in October, up 10.3% from prior-year.

South America vehicle sales climbed 12.5% in the month, following a 10% drop in September, rising to 521,000 units for a 7.8% share of worldwide sales. Brazil, the region’s largest market, jumped 21.1%, offset by a 21.1% decline in Argentina.

South America deliveries through October were up 3.2% from like-2011.

Europe was the only region to report a year-over-year decline in October, with vehicle sales falling 4.6% to 1.54 million units. Germany was flat but still good enough to retain the top slot, followed closely by Russia, up 4%.

France and Italy both suffered double-digit declines of 19.2% and 13.1%, respectively, while the U.K. climbed 8.9%.

Europe accounted for 23.1% of global deliveries in October, down 4.9% for the first 10 months.

October was the ninth consecutive month in which global vehicle sales exceeded 6 million units, bringing year-to-date volume to 68.1 million, up 5.6% from year-ago.

jsousanis@wardsauto.com