A raft of incentives and new models appear to have paid off for US auto giant Chrysler Group, as sales soared in January.

According to Ward's AutoInfoBank, Chrysler saw a 9% improvement on January 2003 (after adjustment for an extra selling day this year). As a result, parent DaimlerChrysler, which also owns Mercedes-Benz, saw US sales jump 7.7%.

Chrysler benefited from its new sports utility vehicles and its Zero Plus incentives scheme, which offers interest-free finance deals and $2,000 (€1,596; £1,089) cash back. The offer helped lift sales of the Chrysler and Jeep brands by double-digit percentages.

The other two auto giants in Detroit's 'big three' did not fare so well. General Motors saw sales slip by 2% and its market share slide to 26%, down two points on January 2003. Car and truck purchases at Ford Motor Company slumped 9%.

However, it was another good month for Asian automakers. Nissan saw sales leap by 25%, while Toyota was up by 15.8%.

According to Autodata, total US car and truck sales for January rose 3.3% to 1.13m units.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff