Mitsubishi Motors said that its global sales volume for the first half of the current fiscal year ending March 2011 totaled 527,000 vehicles, up 19% over the same period last year.

In Japan, the company’s sales increased 16% to 89,000 driven by stronger sales of models that benefited from eco-car tax reductions and incentives. In addition, minicars performed well and the launch of the new RVR compact SUV last February also helped to lift volume.

In North America, Mitsubishi booked sales of 43,000 vehicles, down 6%, with year-on-year sales volume remaining steady in Mexico but failing in the US and Canada.

European sales rose 5% to 98,000 vehicles fuelled by favorable initial sales of the new ASX compact crossover launched in western European markets from June. Also adding to the increase in the region has been a turnaround in Russia where monthly sales volume has exceeded year-on-year levels since August.

In Asia & Other Regions, Mitsubishi’s sales volume of 297,000 vehicles was up 30% with good growth in China, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

On the basis of the first half growth the company raised its 2010 sales volume plan published at the beginning of fiscal 2010 by 3,000 units to 1,124,000 units, however it has decided to leave its full-year forecasts unchanged - net sales of JPY1.9 trillion (US$23.2bn); operating profit of JPY45bn ($551m); ordinary profit of JPY30bn ($367m); net profit of JPY15 bn ($184m).