Chrysler, the smallest of the so-called Big Three, said it sold 101,149 vehicles in January, compared with 70,118 in January 2011.
Sales at General Motors Co. declined 6.1 percent January to January with a total of 167,962 vehicles sold in the first month of 2012 and 178,896 sold in the first month of 2011. Ford Motor Co. meanwhile, posted a 7.3 percent gain from a year earlier, selling 136,294 in January and 126,981 a year earlier.
Chrysler's biggest gains came with a 136.5 percent jump in car sales, while it posted a 24.8 percent gain in sales of light trucks.
Data for Toyota Corp., Nissan Motors Co. and American Honda Motor Co. were not included in the report, but Volkswagen Group of America Inc. saw a 63.9 percent sales decline, selling 9,500 vehicles in January and 26,311 in the same period a year earlier.
Daimler AG posted a gain of 23.2 percent, 21,731 compared with 17,636. BMW saw sales rise 5.8 percent, 19,769, compared with 18,693.