NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (Kyodo) — New car sales in the United States in October increased 7.5 percent from a year earlier, but Toyota Motor Corp.'s sales continued to suffer in the aftermath of the March disaster, according to data released Tuesday by a U.S. research firm.

Toyota saw its sales fall 7.9 percent to 134,046 units, although the decline was smaller than the 17.5 percent drop in September and allowed it to regain its No. 3 position in the U.S. car market with a share of 13.1 percent, according to Autodata Corp.

It was the sixth straight month of year-on-year decrease for Toyota as it continued to struggle with parts supply shortages in the wake of the March earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.

Honda Motor Co. posted a 0.5 percent dip in sales to 98,333 units following an 8.0 percent drop in September, almost recovering from its own sales slumps since May. It took back the No. 5 position that it has lost to Nissan Motor Co. in July, with a market share of 9.6 percent.

After resuming full production in North America in September, the Japanese automakers were again forced to cut output there as flooding in Thailand disrupted the parts supply chain, raising the possibility that their sales may be affected once more if the flood damage continues.

Overall new car sales in October totaled 1,021,313 units, continuing yearly growth despite lingering uncertainties over the U.S. economic outlook.

Among the "Big Three" U.S. automakers, General Motors Co. retained its No. 1 position by selling 186,895 units, up 1.8 percent, with its market share standing at 18.3 percent.

Ford Motor Co. saw its sales climb 6.2 percent to 167,502 units for a 16.4 percent market share, remaining the second-biggest carmaker.

Chrysler Group LLC sold 112,547 units, up 24.9 percent, for a share of 11.0 percent, slipping to the No. 4 slot after Toyota.

The combined sales of the three U.S. carmakers increased 8.3 percent to 466,944 units for a combined market share of 45.7 percent, compared with 48.1 percent in September.

Among other Japanese carmakers, Nissan continued to enjoy robust sales, posting an 18.0 percent rise to 82,346 units for a market share of 8.1 percent, following a 25.3 percent jump in September.

Mazda Motor Corp.'s sales grew 1.7 percent to 18,326 units, while Mitsubishi Motors Corp. saw its sales slump 14.3 percent to 4,378 units. Suzuki Motor Corp. sold 1,947 units, down 4.7 percent.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., known for its Subaru brand, continued to see its sales decrease year on year, down 11.6 percent to 20,081 units, following a 2.3 percent fall in September.