Strong November sales in North America coupled with positive results in Asia lifted global vehicles sales to 6.84 million units for the month, a 5% improvement over year-ago that came despite a downturn in other world markets, according to a WardsAuto report.

The year-over-year increase in November’s world vehicle deliveries was the second in a row and the 10th monthly gain since January.

Auto makers in North America sold 1.39 million vehicles in November, up 13.1% from over year-ago, despite mild upticks in Canada (1.9%) and Mexico (1.3%), as U.S. sales jumped 15.6%.

The U.S. market was buoyed by a spike in payback sales and vehicle replacements that came in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which cost the market an estimated 30,000 to 60,000 deliveries in October and was responsible for the destruction of tens of thousands of vehicles.

North America vehicle sales accounted for 20.3% of global results in November and brought the region’s year-to-date results to 15.9 million units, up 13% from prior-year.

Asia/Pacific auto makers enjoyed an 11.7% increase in deliveries, with principal gains coming from the world’s largest vehicle market, China, up 8.1%, and the world’s fastest- growing market, Thailand, up 463% compared with last year’s flood-ravaged sales results.

Thailand’s 146,000 deliveries in November reflect the nation’s ongoing economic growth, as well as a boom in make-up and replacement sales related to last year’s floods, spurred by the government’s soon-to-expire tax-rebate incentives for first-time car buyers.

November was the fourth consecutive month that sales in Thailand outpaced South Korea, which had bested Thailand in every previous month since at least 2005.

Total Asia vehicle deliveries for the month reached 3.14 million units, accounting for 45.9% of the world market – the region’s largest share since February – and brought its year-to-date results to 32.6 million for a 10.4% gain over like-2011.

South America vehicle sales fell 3% in November after jumping 12.5% over prior-year in October. The largest market of Brazil was down 3% from impressive year-ago results, while the region’s smaller markets had offsetting gains and losses.

South America’s 488,000 deliveries last month made up 7.1% of world sales and raised the region’s year-to-date total to 5.3 million, a 2.6% improvement on like2011.

Europe’s vehicle deliveries dropped 8.5% in November, marking the region’s largest year-on-year decline of the past three years. Among the top five markets, only the U.K. posted a gain, lifting sales 6.6% over the previous November.

Regional leader Germany was down 4.6%, while Europe’s current No.2 market, Russia, posted a 0.5% dip. France and Italy both saw deliveries tumble nearly 20%.

Europe accounted for 22% of November’s global sales, compared with 23.2% in October. Auto makers in the region delivered 17.6 million units in the first 11 months, down more than 5% from year-ago.

November was the ninth consecutive month in which global vehicle sales exceeded 6 million units, bringing year-to-date volume to 74.9 million, up 5.5% from like-2011.

jsousanis@wardsauto.com