Which were the best-performing brands and automakers in 2011? We'll tell you, and the answers may be surprising. The top two best-performing brands surprised us. Jeep led the pack with a 44.04-percent sales increase for the year, followed by Mitsubishi, whose sales jumped 40.07 percent.

Behind those two are the two brands we knew early on would have great years: Kia and Volkswagen. Kia gained significant ground on fellow South Korean automaker Hyundai last year by posting a larger sales increase for the year, 36.27 percent to 19.97 percent, respectively. Volkswagen, meanwhile, proved everyone wrong who questioned its decision to make the redesigned Jetta more cost competitive with a sales gain of 26.21 percent for the year on the back of that little compact car's 54.5-percent increase in sales.

The bottom of our table is also not surprisingly occupied almost entirely by Toyota, Honda and their luxury brands, which are joined by Infiniti and Lincoln. One could too easily argue that Toyota's and Honda's sales trouble in the U.S. last year had everything to do with natural disasters and their effect on production, but that would be ignoring their aging fleet of products, some not-so-well-received redesigns and how much more fierce their competition has become.

Finally, since we teased you last month with a select group of particular sales races we were interested in, we thought we'd let you know which models won.
UPDATE: All brands and companies are now reported.

Brand/Company Vol.% 2011 2010 DSR*% 2011 2010
Jeep 44.04 419,349 291,138 43.57 1,366 951
Mitsubishi 40.07 77,995 55,683 39.61 254 182
Kia 36.27 485,492 356,268 35.83 1,581 1,164
Volkswagen 26.31 324,402 256,830 25.90 1,057 839
Mini 25.54 57,300 45,644 25.13 187 149
Volvo 24.64 67,240 53,948 24.23 219 176
Ram 20.97 257,610 212,952 20.58 839 696
Hyundai 19.97 645,691 538,228 19.58 2,103 1,759
Land Rover 19.57 38,099 31,864 19.18 124 104
GMC 18.81 397,986 334,981 18.42 1,296 1,095
Dodge 17.56 451,040 383,675 17.17 1,469 1,254
Ford 17.45 2,062,915 1,756,439 17.07 6,720 5,740
Nissan 17.25 944,073 805,159 16.87 3,075 2,631
Mercedes-Benz 16.28 261,573 224,944 15.90 852 735
Audi 15.68 117,561 101,629 15.30 383 332
Porsche 14.62 29,023 25,320 14.25 95 83
Buick 14.32 177,633 155,389 13.94 579 508
Chevrolet 13.42 1,775,812 1,565,632 13.06 5,784 5,116
BMW 12.57 247,773 220,113 12.20 807 719
Chrysler 12.10 221,346 197,446 11.74 721 645
Suzuki 10.94 26,618 23,994 10.57 87 78
Mazda 9.09 250,426 229,566 8.73 816 750
Cadillac 3.72 152,389 146,925 3.38 496 480
Saab 3.01 5,610 5,446 2.68 18 18
Subaru 1.20 266,989 263,820 0.87 870 862
Lincoln -0.22 85,643 85,828 -0.54 279 280
Infiniti -4.79 98,461 103,411 -5.10 321 338
Toyota -5.75 1,446,109 1,534,266 -6.05 4,710 5,014
Honda -6.65 1,023,986 1,096,874 -6.95 3,335 3,585
Acura -7.71 123,299 133,606 -8.02 402 437
Jaguar -7.98 12,276 13,340 -8.28 40 44
Smart -12.30 5,198 5,927 -12.59 17 19
Lexus -13.42 198,552 229,329 -13.70 647 749
Fiat NA 19,769 NA NA 64 NA
COMPANIES
Chrysler Group 26.16 1,369,114 1,085,211 25.75 4,460 3,546
Nissan NA 14.74 1,042,534 908,570 14.37 3,396 2,969
BMW Group 14.70 305,421 266,269 14.33 995 870
General Motors 13.66 2,503,820 2,202,927 13.29 8,156 7,199
Jag Land Rover 11.44 50,375 45,204 11.08 164 148
Ford Mo Co 11.02 2,148,806 1,935,462 10.66 6,999 6,325
Toyota Mo Co -6.74 1,644,661 1,763,595 -7.05 5,357 5,763
American Honda -6.76 1,147,285 1,230,480 -7.06 3,737 4,021
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 307 selling days in 2011 and 306 selling days in 2010, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company.