Ford said Friday its sales were up 46 percent from a year ago, while Chrysler reported a 61 percent rise, The New York Times reported. Sales increased 10.5 percent for General Motors, or 22 percent not counting the four brands GM has discontinued or sold.
Demand is still lower than automakers had hoped for at this point in a recovery.
"Pent-up demand is building, which will eventually be released," said Don Johnson, GM's vice president for domestic sales. "Consumers are still sending us a very clear message that they will continue to be cautious with their spending."
Toyota said sales rose 17 percent, and Honda was up 26 percent. Sales rose 47 percent at Subaru and 15 percent at Volkswagen.
At Ford, sales of sport utility vehicles leaped 63 percent as demand for its redesigned Edge crossover vehicle nearly tripled.
Sales of 10 Chrysler models, including the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, rose at least 95 percent from September 2009, which was one of the company's worst months in decades.