Honda and Nissan each reported monthly sales records to start the new year, but other top automakers in the U.S. market saw January sales decline compared to the beginning of 2016.
Both Japanese automakers reported that their January sales increased by about 6 percent over the same month last year.
Honda's flagship division grew by nearly 8 percent as its Acura luxury line remained steady, while Nissan posted a 4 percent gain by its flagship cars and a 36 percent increase by Infiniti.
Larger Japanese rival Toyota, by contrast, saw sales drop by 11 percent for the month, while those automakers' Detroit rivals also reported slower sales.
Fiat Chrysler also fell by 11 percent, but blamed the decline in large part on lower sales to rental fleets. Overall retail sales were flat, and a 5 percent increase in the Ram trucks brand was offset by declines of 7 percent by Jeep, 9 percent by Fiat, 17 percent by Dodge and 40 percent by Chrysler.
General Motors sales, meanwhile, declined by 4 percent. GMC was the only GM brand to see an increase at a modest 1 percent. Its largest brand, Chevrolet, fell by 2 percent, while Cadillac dropped by 4 percent and Buick by 28 percent.
Ford also blamed its decline in large part on fleet sales. Although retail sales increased, rental sales dropped by 13 percent and translated to a 1 percent overall slide. The Lincoln brand, however, enjoyed a strong month with a 22 percent increase.
Those six companies comprised more than 75 percent of the U.S. auto market in December, according to The Wall Street Journal.