April figures indicate a seasonally adjusted rate of 11.5 million unit sales for the year. Ford and Chrysler each saw a 25 percent rise in retail sales. Nissan had one of the highest with a 35 percent jump.

Automobile sales in the U.S. market bounced back resoundingly last month with Ford, Nissan and Chrysler posting the biggest gains.

Vehicle retail sales were up 20 percent in the United States for the month of April. Industry sales totaled 982,302 units for the month, up from 819,692 for April of last year. That figure means a seasonally adjusted rate of 11.5 million unit sales for the year - an encouraging indicator but still well below the more than 16 million unit highs seen in the middle of the last decade.

Ford saw its sales rise 25 percent, with a sharp increase (42 percent) in its F-Series pickup truck range and a 41 percent jump for its Escape SUV. Chrysler also had a 25 percent increase in sales, the first time it has seen a double-digit gain in five years. Nissan had one of the highest gains in the industry with a 35 percent jump.

But the benefits of higher sales were had by almost all automakers - with Subaru boosting sales by a whopping 48 percent and VW Group (including Audi) experiencing a much needed bump of 39 percent.

Even Toyota, plagued recently by recall problems and a federal fine for not reporting them on time, saw a rise in sales of 24 percent - driven by incentives the automaker has had to provide customers in order to maintain its market share.

Nissan, Ford, Chrysler lead U.S. sales gain of 20% in April