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It was a banner month for a few automakers, while a handful of others should be more than a little concerned.

The calendar hardly worked in most automakers' favors last month in terms of overall vehicle sales. With three fewer selling days than April of 2011, many brands saw on-paper declines.

However, that's not to say that there weren't a number of bright spots, especially from Chrysler and Toyota, both of which saw significant increases across their lines.

Ford and Chevrolet had the highest overall volume last month, but Toyota and all of Chrysler's brands gained quite a bit of market share.

April's Numbers

Acura - Up 5 percent to 12,175

Audi - Up 15 percent to 11,521

BMW - Up 12 percent to 21,062

Buick - Down 16 percent to 15,446

Cadillac - Down 25 percent to 9,851

Chevrolet - Down 8 percent to 155,487

Chrysler - Up 56 percent to 31,879

Dodge - Up 2 percent to 45,248

Fiat - Up 436 percent to 3,849

Ford - Down 5 percent to 174,042

GMC - Up 5 percent to 32,603

Honda - Down 3 percent to 109,837

Hyundai - Up 1 percent to 62,264

Infiniti - Up 5 percent to 7,129

Jaguar - Down 14 percent to 1,073

Jeep - Up 19 percent to 38,684

Kia - Up 1 percent to 47,550

Land Rover - Up 10 percent to 3,292

Lexus - Down 0.1 percent to 17,551

Lincoln - Down 13 percent to 6,308

Maserati - Up 1 percent to 232

Mazda - Up 4 percent to 21,506

Mercedes-Benz - Up 24 percent to 22,336

Mitsubishi - Down 35 percent to 5,280

MINI - Down 11 percent to 5,731

Nissan - Down 1 percent to 64,200

Porsche - Up 8 percent to 3,437

Ram - Up 12 percent to 21,505

Smart - Up 64 percent to 764

Subaru - Up 6 percent to 26,310

Suzuki - Down 17 percent to 1,774

Toyota (Includes Scion) - Up 13 percent to 160,493

Volkswagen - Up 32 percent to 37,525

Volvo - Down 24 percent to 4,848

BMW Group - Up 6 percent to 26,793

Chrysler - Up 20 percent to 141,165

Daimler - Up 31 percent to 25,066

Ford Motor Company - Down 5 percent to 180,350

General Motors - Down 8 percent to 213,387

American Honda - Down 2 percent to 122,012

Hyundai Group - Up 1 percent to 109,814

Jaguar Land Rover - Up 3 percent to 4,365

Nissan North America - Down 0.3 percent to 71,329

Toyota USA - Up 12 percent to 178,044

2012 YTD Numbers

Acura - Up 1 percent to 42,980

Audi - Up 16 percent to 40,991

BMW - Up 16 percent to 82,611

Buick - Down 16 percent to 52,782

Cadillac - Down 24 percent to 40,817

Chevrolet - Up 3 percent to 603,621

Chrysler - Up 76 percent to 111,217

Dodge - Up 17 percent to 171,470

Fiat - Up 920 percent to 12,699

Ford - Up 5 percent to 692,453

GMC - Up 2 percent to 124,487

Honda - Up 3 percent to 399,197

Hyundai - Up 11 percent to 225,837

Infiniti - Down 4 percent to 33,349

Jaguar - Up 17 percent to 4,401

Jeep - Up 30 percent to 152,830

Kia - Up 22 percent to 185,610

Land Rover - Up 24 percent to 13,951

Lexus - Up 3 percent to 66,647

Lincoln - Down 0.4 percent to 27,144

Maserati - Up 19 percent to 834

Mazda - Up 22 percent to 103,529

Mercedes-Benz - Up 18 percent to 83,849

Mitsubishi - Down 23 percent to 21,887

MINI - Up 6 percent to 19,911

Nissan - Up 12 percent to 322,287

Porsche - Up 4 percent to 10,596

Ram - Up 17 percent to 91,000

Smart - Up 46 percent to 3,028

Subaru - Up 16 percent to 106,878

Suzuki - Down 6 percent to 8,335

Toyota (Includes Scion) - Up 13 percent to 598,681

Volkswagen - Up 38 percent to 131,898

Volvo - Down 3 percent to 21,265

BMW Group - Up 14 percent to 102,522

Chrysler - Up 33 percent to 539,216

Daimler - Up 22 percent to 91,972

Ford Motor Company - Up 5 percent to 719,597

General Motors - Down 0.4 percent to 821,707

American Honda - Up 3 percent to 442,177

Hyundai Group - Up 16 percent to 411,447

Jaguar Land Rover - Up 22 percent to 18,352

Nissan North America - Up 10 percent to 393,690

Toyota USA - Up 12 percent to 665,328

The Domestics

Chrysler was by far Detroit's strongest automaker last month, with its best April since 2008 and its 25th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. Jeep's Wrangler and Dodge's Challenger had their best April ever, while the Dodge Avenger broke an all-time record.

Perhaps most notable at Chrysler was that the Chrysler 200 became the automaker's second-best seller (at 13,343 units) behind the Ram full-size pickups.

While Ford was off overall last month, the Blue Oval's Edge and Fusion had their best-ever Aprils. Still, sales slid 44 percent for the Fiesta, 20 percent for the Escape and 27 percent for the Lincoln MKZ.

The picture wasn't that much different at General Motors, where most divisions saw declines. GM says that the "timing of rental customer deliveries" saw its fleet sales drop 25 percent last month. By comparison, its retail sales were "essentially equal" to April 2011. Individually, GM saw mixed results; Buick and Cadillac were generally weak, while trucks, crossovers and SUVs were mostly strong.

The Asians

Although Honda's recent moves have been panned by many critics, the automaker seems to be making a modest sales comeback; three of its models (Accord, Civic, CR-V) cracked the overall top 10 (to come tomorrow). Civic Hybrid sales were up 612 percent, while the automaker hit an April sales record for its new CR-V. Meanwhile, Acura's redesigned RDX saw sales up 65 percent compared to the outgoing model, while the Accord sedan had a particularly strong month.

Mazda hasn't had a lot of good news lately, but the automaker says that last month was its best since 2008. The automaker's big hit was its new CX-5 crossover, which saw 3,521 deliveries in its second full month on the market.

Nissan's sales were all over the place, but perhaps the biggest news was that its Infiniti division saw a 5 percent gain thanks only to the new JX large crossover. The JX's 2,079 deliveries were offset by more than 19 percent declines for all Infinitis other than the QX56 (down 6 percent). Nissan, meanwhile, had a weak month for its typically strong-selling Altima (dealer inventories are likely low since a new model is due out soon).

Toyota's larger Prius line (which now includes the Prius v and Prius c) had its best-ever April, as sales were up nearly across the board for the Japanese automaker. Interestingly, Toyota's smallest car - its new Scion iQ - outsold its largest SUV - the Toyota Sequoia, 962 to 882 units.

Are the Koreans plateauing? Both Hyundai and Kia posted modest 1 percent gains last month, due in part, the automakers say, to limited production capacity. Regardless, both broke April records.

The Europeans

Audi had its 16th consecutive best-ever month on big gains for its A6 (up 137 percent), although its highest-volume model, the A4, was off 7 percent.

BMW's two brands posted mixed results, although the automaker was pretty happy with a 21 percent gain (to just over 9,000 cars) for its redesigned 3-Series. Arch rival Mercedes-Benz had its best-ever April, topping BMW by about 1,000 units, a staggering 104 of which were $190,000-plus SLS AMGs.

VW had its best April in more than 40 years - when its biggest news was the arrival of the Super Beetle. Fueling its growth was the Passat, which broke 10,000 units for the second time. VW is still a ways off from its goal of 800,000 units annually by 2018 (including Audi), but it is making steady progress.

Leftlane's bottom line

Because of the way the calendar fell this year, April's numbers required a little more sorting through than most months. But there's no hiding the fact that Chrysler is on a roll and Toyota seems to be rebounding - at the expense of Ford, General Motors and Honda.

With a couple of extra selling days, May will likely be an especially strong month for a few automakers. In addition, production cuts and inventory shortages caused by the tsunami in Japan were first felt in May of 2011, so we could see some especially big-on-paper gains from Japan's automakers. Stay tuned.