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 |  Mar 01 2012, 6:45 PM

February treated the auto industry well this year, at least for the most part. The majority of automakers saw sales increases over the same month last year.

Chrysler was the big winner, reporting a 40 percent sales increase over February of last year. Even GM posted a tiny 1.1 percent gain over last year despite suffering from poor Cadillac and Buick sales. In fact, industry sales grew 16 percent overall compared to last year.

Cars made in North America grew the most, by 17 percent, while European manufactured vehicles saw the smallest increase — only 2 percent.

Last month’s sales numbers were nothing short of striking, but one of the most interesting developments came from the muscle car battle Chevrolet and Ford are waging against one another. The Mustang finally beat the Camaro in sales with 7,351 units to Chevrolet’s 6,923.

The next question is how long those numbers will last, given that the new 580-horsepower ZL1 Camaro is being released and is said to be the best bow tie-bearing pony car yet.

Among the other companies with impressive growth, Mercedes-Benz sub-brand Smart saw a 59 percent increase. British luxury brand Jaguar enjoyed a 48 percent boost, and while Volkswagen and MINI enjoyed 43 and 42 percent increases respectively. Even econo-box manufacturer Kia saw a 37 percent sales jump over last year.