Volkswagen Group has delivered 4.2m vehicles to customers since the beginning of the year, "on a par with the level for the previous year".
May sales rose 3.1% to 899,000.
"The Volkswagen Group recorded solid growth worldwide in May. The recovery on the South American market over the last few months is particularly encouraging. This is also reflected in our delivery figures for the region," group sales chief Fred Kappler said.
In Europe, the group brands sold 393,500 new vehicles in May, up 6.5%. German sales rose 3.8% to 120,800 and YTD Europe volume was up 3.6% to 1.9m. Central and eastern Europe sales were up 16.1% to 65,800 with Russia up 16.6% to 15,400.
North America sales increased 1.1% in May to 84,300 with 54,300 for the US, a rise of 3.9%. YTD volume rose 2.8% to 377,500. South America sales rose 14.6% to 43,400 in May and 9.4% to 204,600 YTD.
Asia-Pacific sales rose 0.9% to 344,700 last month with YTD volume down 4.1% to 1.6m. Most (1.5m; -3.3%) were sold in China where May volume rose 2.5% to 319,500 in May.