The 2012 Fiat 500 ©AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY

(Relaxnews) – US auto sales jumped by 16 percent in February, figures released this week showed, with a host of automakers posting gains of more than 30 percent on the same month last year.

American consumers bought a total 1.15 million cars last month, more than expected by many and boosted by a warmer-than-expected winter which helped offset the current high gas price.

BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Mazda were among the companies selling over 30 percent more models than in February 2011, figures showed, with Volkswagen surging even further to reach 43 percent.

According to analysts though, the star of the show was Chrysler, up a whopping 40 percent with its 23rd monthly sales increase and its collapse in 2008 firmly behind it.

Chrysler brand Fiat, which has struggled with a lukewarm reception to its Fiat 500 city car, saw its best month since the US relaunch, up 63 percent on the back of an advertising blitz.

General Motors, the best selling automaker in the US, saw just a one percent rise in sales, far eclipsed by its closest competitors Ford (up 14 percent) and Toyota (up 12 percent).

Posting its biggest sales increase since March 2011, Ford noted that high fuel prices were edging consumers towards more environmentally-friendly models.

The most popular automakers in the US – February 2012

1. General Motors
2. Ford
3. Toyota
4. Chrysler
5. Honda
6. Nissan

Source – automakers/Automotive News