New vehicle sales in Thailand increased by 53.4% to 62,205 units in May, compared with 40,539 units a year earlier, according to data gathered by Toyota Motor Thailand. Buyers seemingly have been unaffected by the political unrest which culminated in widespread rioting in and around Bangkok last month.

The May data shows sales volumes continuing to rebound from last year’s lows, helped by low interest rates and growing pent-up demand after four years of market decline. The market was led high by the passenger car segment, which expanded by over 60% year-on-year to 27,808 units. New models such as the locally-made Mazda 2 helped drive demand.

Commercial vehicle sales rose by 48.4% to 34,397 units, with pickup truck sales rising by 44% to 29,119 units.

Overall sales in the first five months of the year rose by 52.2% to 286,145 units, from 188,026 units a year earlier.

Tony Pugliese