DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- This time, when fuel prices rose dramatically and demand rose for compact cars, Detroit automakers were ready. In May, for the first time in five years, GM ( GM) made the best-selling compact car in the U.S., as its Chevrolet Cruze sold 22,711 units. The Ford ( F) Focus was second, at 22,303 units.
Chevrolet Cruze sales soared in May.
Of course, production woes in Japan put a temporary ceiling on the Honda ( HMC) and Toyota ( TM) production. But it is clear that the success of the Cruze and the Focus reflects not only a temporary setback for rivals, but also gains for Detroit in the areas of competitive worker compensation and commitment to better small cars. Compact cars represented 16% of U.S. sales in May, up 19% year-to-date. Read on for the top five small cars in the U.S. in May.