Autodata Corp. estimated that U.S. auto sales reached 12.8 million units last year, marking the best year for auto sales since 2008 if the stat holds. Big winners were General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, with GM reclaiming the top spot in world vehicle sales two years after it emerged from its U.S.-backed bankruptcy. The following is breakdown of December and annual sales figures by manufacturer:

Audi: Audi of America set a new all-time December record with 12,655 vehicles sold, a 20 percent increase over the same period last year. The automaker also recorded U.S. sales of 117,561 vehicles in 2011, eclipsing its 2010 record of 101,629 vehicles sold. Marking Audi’s best year in the U.S. market, year-end sales increased 15.7 percent over 2010. December results were boosted by strong performance in the C and D segments, with record December sales for the Audi A6, Audi A7 and Audi A8 sedan. A6 sales of 1,855 represented a 124 percent increase over 2010. A8 sales increased 35 percent and sales of the A7 remained solid with 887 vehicles sold in December. 

BMW: BMW Group reported December sales of 32,545 vehicles, an increase of 17.9 percent from the 27,600 vehicles sold vs. the year-ago month. BMW Group also recorded its best sales year since 2007 with 305,418 vehicles sold, a 14.9 percent increase vs. 2010. Sales of BMW brand vehicles increased 15.3 percent in December for a total of 26,834, while BMW brand sales for the year were up 12.6 percent to 247,907 vehicles. MINI USA reported sales of 5,711 automobiles in December, up 32.2 percent vs. 2010. For the year, MINI sales in the U.S. were up 26 percent compared to 2010.

Chrysler: Chrysler Group LLC posted U.S. sales of 138,019 units in December, a 37 percent increase from the year-ago period. The company’s December sales performance also marked the group’s best monthly sales since May 2008. For the year, Chrysler Group sales totaled 1.37 million units, up 26 percent vs. 2010. The Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Truck brands each posted solid sales gains during 2011 compared with sales in 2010. The group’s 37 percent December increase was driven, in part, by strong sales of the Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200, Dodge Charger and Avenger sport sedans, Ram pickup truck, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, and Compass.

Ford: Ford’s brand 2011 U.S. sales increased 17 percent to 2.062 million vehicles sold. Total Ford Motor Company sales for the year increased to 2.148 million vehicles, up 11 percent for the year. Small car, utilities and truck sales drove Ford’s marketplace performance in 2011, with small car sales increasing 25 percent in 2011. In December, Ford brand sales totaled 201,737, up 16 percent from a year earlier. Ford sold 68,278 F-Series pickups in December, representing its best December sales results since 2006.

GM: General Motors Co. recorded total U.S. sales of 234,351 vehicles in December, up 5 percent compared with December 2010. Sales for the calendar year were up 14 percent year over year to more than 2.5 million units sold. GM’s total passenger car sales for the month increased 12 percent, crossover sales decreased 14 percent and sales of trucks (including full-size pickups, vans and SUVs) increased 13 percent. Highlights for the month include a 42 percent year-over-year increase in Chevrolet Sonic sales, a 54 percent increase in Chevrolet Cruze sales, a 20 percent increase for the Chevrolet Camaro and a 13 percent increase for the Chevrolet Malibu. The Chevrolet Volt also experienced its best month ever in December, with more than 1,500 units sold.

Honda: American Honda Motor Co. posted December monthly new-vehicle sales of 105,230, a decrease of 18.8 percent on a daily selling-rate basis. American Honda's 2011 annual vehicle sales totaled 1.147 million units, a decrease of 7.1 percent vs. 2010. Honda Division's December monthly sales of 92,101 represented a decrease of 19.3 percent, while the division’s 2011 annual sales of 1.024 million represented a 6.9 percent year-over-year decrease. The three top-selling Honda models for 2011 were the Accord (235,625 units), Civic (221,235 units) and CR-V (218,373 units). Acura Division's year-end sales totaled 123,299, down 8 percent vs. 2010. The company’s Acura sales totaled 13,129, a decrease of 15.2 percent. The MDX led the division with annual sales of 43,271, followed by the TL and TSX.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America announced sales of 50,765 vehicles in December, a 13 percent increase and an 18 percent retail sales increase year over year. Annual Hyundai sales were up 20 percent vs. 2010 in total, with sales to retail customers up 29 percent. Sales to fleet accounts represented just 10 percent of total sales for 2011 and three percent for December. The  Sonata and Elantra both set full-year records with sales of 225,961 units (up 15 percent) and 186,361 (up 41 percent), respectively. The Accent experience a 91 percent year-over-year increase in sales for the month of December, and finished the year with a 7 percent increase in sales vs. 2010.

Mazda: Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) reported December U.S. sales of 22,353 vehicles, an increase of 4.1 percent vs. 2010. This was Mazda's best December since 2007. Mazda's U.S. sales were up 9.1 percent over 2010, with 250,426 vehicles sold. The company’s December sales gains were attributable to the launch of the company's SKYACTIV-G engine and SKYACTIV-Drive and –MT transmissions in the 2012 Mazda3. Mazda2 sales were up 60.9 percent, Mazda5 sales were up 52.5 percent, CX-9 crossover SUV sales were up 27.8 percent and Mazda3 sales were up 2.7 percent.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA posted unit sales of 264,460 vehicles for 2011 — a 17.5 percent increase vs. the year-ago period — representing the company’s highest annual volume on record. The company reported that 28,006 vehicles were sold in December, a 30.4 percent improvement vs. December 2010. The C-Class was the volume leader for the year with sales of 69,314, up 17.9 percent over its year-to-date volume in 2010. The E-Class followed with sales of 62,736 and the M-Class rounded out the top three with sales of 35,835. For December, sales at the high-end were strong, as the 2012 CLS-Class posted a sales increase of 155.2 percent for the month. The company also sold 86 of its SLS AMG, up 79.2 percent from December 2010. Year to date, sales of the model totaled 722 units.

Nissan: Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) reported record December U.S. sales of 100,927 units vs.  93,730 units in 2010, an 7.7 percent increase. Nissan Division sales also set a new December record, increasing 10.7 percent for the month to 89,937 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles decreased 12.1 percent from 2010 to 10,990 units. Nissan vehicles posted record December sales of 89,937 units, an increase of 10.7 percent over the 81,228 units sold in December 2010. Infiniti sales totaled 10,990 units for December, a 12.1 percent decrease vs. 12,502 in 2010. NNA finished the calendar year with 2011 sales totaling 1.042 million units.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) reported December 2011 sales of 178,131 units, which was flat compared to the same period last year. Toyota Division reported December sales of 152,776 units, up 1.9 percent over 2010.  Lexus Division reported sales of 25,355 units, down 8 percent from the year-ago month. Scion Division reported sales of 49,271 units for the year, up 7.5 percent over 2010 on a DSR basis and up 7.9 percent on a volume basis. For the full year, TMS reported annual sales of 1.644 million vehicles, down 7 percent from the same period in 2010 on a DSR basis, as inventory continued to recover from shortages due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen of America Inc. posted 324,402 units sold in 2011, a 26.3 percent increase vs. the year-ago period. December sales totaled 32,502, up 36.2 percent vs. 2010, marking the company’s best December since 1972. The Passat outsold 2010’s volume by 124 percent with 22,779 units sold, including 6,884 units sold in the December alone. Jetta sedan sales totaled 150,515 unit for 2011, marking a 54.5 percent increase over 2010. December sales increased 18 percent year over year to 12,422 units. The 2012 Beetle sold 5,626 units for the year and 1,530 for the month of December. GTI sales increased 22.6 percent for the year and 24.6 percent in December vs. the year-ago period. The Touareg realized a sales increase of 59.9 percent for the year and 38.6 percent for December.