Nissan Europe sales jumped 15% in May compared to the same month a year ago to 42,835 against the backdrop of a 5% decrease in total industry volume.

The company said that the start of a vehicle scrappage scheme had boosted sales in that market while Nissan sales in the UK and Spain were also strong and ahead of last year.

Sales chief Bernard Loire said: “Nissan in Europe reached the forecasted 2.8% market share in May, 0.2 points above last year. Qasqhai confirmed its success in May with 24% growth year on year and Pixo has given a significant volume contribution to the brand.”

Sales rose 76% in Spain to 4,601 units, 22% in the UK to 7,151 and 51% in France to 5,000 vehicles. Poland was up 58% to 1,028 but falls were recorded in Italy, down 6% to 5,490 and Greece, hit by economic troubles, fell 58% to 659 units.