The five Korean carmakers saw their May sales rise by 1.8 percent from a year ago because they launched new models.
They sold 121,239 cars between them last month. The performance is promising given that there were several public holidays in May and many people tightened their belts in the wake of the April 16 ferry disaster.
Hyundai on Monday said it sold 59,911 vehicles in May, up 3.4 percent from a year ago. Renault Samsung saw a 60.8 percent rise in sales, and GM Korea a five percent rise.
Ssangyong's sales figure was similar to a year ago, and Kia's dropped eight percent as the company did not launch new models.
The combined sales of the five carmakers from January to May rose 4.8 percent from a year ago.
Medium-sized sedans and SUVs are selling well. Hyundai sold more than 10,000 new Sonatas last month, and sales of GM Korea's Malibu soared 75 percent.
Renault Samsung sold 2,161 QM3 small SUVs, accounting for 30 percent of last month's sales for the company.
Ssangyong's three SUVs -- the New Korando C, Rexton, and Korando Sports -- sold 27 percent more in the first five months on-year.
But Kia has struggled this year as potential customers are waiting for the new Carnival and Sorento, and popular sedans like the K5 are relatively outdated.