A total of 11,590,274 new cars and light trucks were sold across the 12 months, up from 10,431,510 in 2009.
December was the biggest sales month for 2010, with a total of 1,144,840 sold thanks largely to end-of-year discounts and an influx of new models hitting showrooms.
Annualised data based on December’s figures points towards sales of around 12.6 million over the next 12 months.
General Motors was the biggest seller, with sales up seven percent to more than 2.21 million vehicles, closely followed by Ford Motor Co. (1.96 million, up 17 percent) and Toyota (1.76 million, steady).
The Ford F-Series truck maintained its position as the best selling vehicle in the country. Its sales increased a remarkable 28 percent for a total of 528,349.
The second-placed Chevrolet Silverado picked up 17 percent for 370,135.
Unsurprisingly, the only vehicles to lose ground in the top 10 were the Toyota Camry (327,804, down 7.5 percent) and the Corolla (266,082, down 9.8 percent) as the brand battles to regain consumer confidence in the US after a difficult year.
Ford Motor Co.’s increase of just less than 300,000 vehicles was perhaps the most significant sales story of the year in the US, and Ford anticipates the good times to roll on in 2011 with the launch of the 2012 Focus.
Other strong performing brands included Chrysler Group (up 17 percent), Hyundai Group (up 22 percent), Nissan (up 29 percent), Subaru (up 22 percent) and Volkswagen (up 21 percent).
BMW Group and Honda joined General Motors and Toyota among the list of manufacturers who failed to keep pace with the industry average, although their total sales still increased compared with 2009.