Although Thailand’s October floods had less impact on world vehicle production than anticipated, the disaster did provide downward pressure on sales for some auto makers – particularly Honda.

Global auto makers still sold 6.52 million vehicles in November, the fourth highest monthly total in 2011. Deliveries rose only 2.3% above year-ago, but did exceed October’s 1.3% gain.

North America continued to outperform other regions on a year-over-year basis, registering a 13.3% increase compared with like-2010.

In the U.S., the world’s second-largest vehicle market, deliveries climbed 14.6% in November for the best seasonally adjusted sales rate of the year. Mexico deliveries grew 9.6% to 85,000 units, while Canada was up 5.2% to 125,000.

Total vehicle sales of 1.23 million units gave the North America region an 18.8% share of world vehicle sales, down from October’s 19.9%.

Markets in the Asia/Pacific region experienced wildly divergent results in November. Japan’s sales surged 22.2% to 396,000 units, making it the third-largest market in the world. Not surprisingly, Thailand’s deliveries plunged 67.5% from year-ago.

China’s sales in the world’s largest vehicle market continued to trail year-ago on a monthly basis, falling 2.6% in November and climbing just 3% year-to-date.

Collectively, Asia/Pacific markets inched up 0.1% over year-ago in the month to 2.81 million vehicles, accounting for 43.1% of total global vehicle sales.

Europe saw a 1.2% uptick in November with sales of 1.65 million units, for a 25.2% world market share. Germany again led the region with 302,000 deliveries, but still dropped from the fourth largest market to the fifth behind Brazil.

Russia continued its streak of double-digit growth in November, up 26% over year-ago to 252,000 units, the second-best in Europe. France was down 4.7%, the U.K. fell 1% and Italy rose 2.6%, rounding out Europe’s top-five vehicle markets.

Brazil’s deliveries slipped 1% to 325,000 units, equating to 5% of total vehicle sales worldwide. Growth cooled to single-digits in Argentina, up 8.4% in the month compared with 34.9% in October. However, South America’s overall share of global vehicle sales rose to 7.8% in November from 7.4% in October.

With 71 million deliveries through November, total world vehicle sales were tracking 4.5% above year-ago for 2011.

jsousanis@wardsauto.com