Camry and Civic lead comeback of Toyota, Honda

When 2011 ticked over to become 2012, something changed with the dynamic that had been in place nearly all of last year. We had become so used to the domestics seeing increased sales month after month while Toyota and Honda struggled to keep their heads above water while fixing disaster-related production issues. No more.

January saw both Toyota and Honda report strong positive sales figures (up 9.00 and 9.25 percent, respectively). That's good enough to out-trend Ford (up 8.29 percent) and General Motors (down 6.11 percent), the latter of which saw its new year kick off with a decline after finishing 2011 with 11 out of 12 monthly sales gains. Conversely, Honda kicked off its new year right after posting eight straight months of sales declines to end 2011.

The Chrysler Group was King of the Hill in January, posting a 44.26-percent increase in sales.

Both Toyota and Honda should especially be pleased with how their traditional top sellers performed. The redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry entered the market without skipping a beat and posted a 55.9-percent increase on 28,295 units sold. Likewise, the Honda Civic, which received a harshly criticized redesign in 2011, bounced back in January with a 49.5-percent increase on sales of 21,883 units. It replaces the aging Accord at the top of Honda's sales heap, which remained flat in January with just 13,659 units sold.

What about Chrysler? Shockingly, the Chrysler Group was King of the Hill in January, posting a 44.26-percent increase in sales compared to 2011, led by an indomitable Chrysler brand that reported an 81.39-percent increase in sales on the back of strong performances by its 200 and 300 sedans. Ram (41.86 percent), Jeep (37.40 percent) and Dodge (29.37 percent) all reported strong sales, as well.

Additional mentions should be made for Mazda (up 68.19 percent) and Volkswagen (up 47.87 percent). Mazda enjoyed a 532.6-percent in Mazda2 sales to 3,032 units, as well as a 118-percent increase in Mazda6 sales to 4,929 units. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Passat went from selling just 108 units last year to moving 6,318 last month.

Check out the rest of last month's sales numbers in the table below.

Brand/Company Vol. % Jan 2012 Jan 2011 DSR* % Jan 2012 Jan 2011
Chrysler 81.39 17,604 9,705 81.39 734 404
Mazda 68.19 23,996 14,267 68.19 1,000 594
Volkswagen 47.87 27,209 18,401 47.87 1,134 767
Bentley 43.90 118 82 43.90 5 3
Ram 41.86 18,470 13,020 41.86 770 543
Land Rover 41.13 3,205 2,271 41.13 134 95
Smart 38.55 496 358 38.55 21 15
Jeep 37.40 31,710 23,079 37.40 1,321 962
Dodge 29.37 31,454 24,314 29.37 1,311 1,013
Kia 27.81 35,517 27,789 27.81 1,480 1,158
Mercedes-Benz 22.91 21,230 17,273 22.91 885 720
Mini 21.19 3,334 2,751 21.19 139 115
Subaru 20.94 22,807 18,858 20.94 950 786
Audi 19.74 9,354 7,812 19.74 390 326
Hyundai 14.73 42,694 37,214 14.73 1,779 1,551
Nissan 12.53 72,517 64,442 12.53 3,022 2,685
Honda 9.25 74,628 68,308 9.25 3,110 2,846
Toyota 9.00 112,266 102,996 9.00 4,678 4,292
Ford 8.29 131,589 121,511 8.29 5,483 5,063
Porsche 6.25 2,550 2,400 6.25 106 100
Jaguar 5.35 985 935 5.35 41 39
Acura 5.28 8,381 7,961 5.28 349 332
Volvo 4.33 4,461 4,276 4.33 186 178
BMW 3.14 16,405 15,905 3.14 684 663
Chevrolet -1.22 123,864 125,389 -1.22 5,161 5,225
Lexus -4.56 12,274 12,860 -4.56 511 536
Lincoln -7.86 5,121 5,558 -7.86 213 232
Infiniti -8.22 6,796 7,405 -8.22 283 309
GMC -9.73 24,966 27,658 -9.73 1,040 1,152
Mitsubishi -17.55 4,711 5,714 -17.55 196 238
Buick -23.07 10,208 13,269 -23.07 425 553
Cadillac -29.06 8,924 12,580 -29.06 372 524
Suzuki -41.26 1,505 2,562 -41.26 63 107
Fiat NA 1,911 0 NA 80 0
Saab NA NA 658 NA NA 27
COMPANIES
Chrysler Group 44.26 101,149 70,118 44.26 4,215 2,922
Jaguar Land Rover 30.69 4,190 3,206 30.69 175 134
Nissan NA 10.39 79,313 71,847 10.39 3,305 2,994
American Honda 8.84 83,009 76,269 8.84 3,459 3,178
Toyota Mo Co 7.50 124,540 115,856 7.50 5,189 4,827
Ford Mo Co 7.38 136,710 127,317 7.38 5,696 5,305
BMW Group 5.81 19,739 18,656 5.81 822 777
General Motors -6.11 167,962 178,896 -6.11 6,998 7,454
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 24 selling days in January 2012 versus 24 selling days in January 2011, so the change in monthly sales volume will be the same as the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.