Chrysler is reported Thursday its best year in the United States since 2007. Sales there rose 21 per cent for the year.

Auto expert Tony Faria says one man deserve much of the credit for Chrysler's 2012 success.

"That's a real plus for Reid Bigland, who is head of Chrysler Canada but also head of U.S. sales and head of the Dodge division for Chrysler," said Faria, the director of automotive and vehicle research at the University of Windsor's business school. "So, the performance of Reid Bigland has been absolutely outstanding. He's one of the star executives of Chrysler corporation."

Last year, Chrysler also had its best sales year in Canada since 2000. December was Chrysler Canada's 37th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth.

The sale of some van models, built in Windsor, were down slightly in Canada but surged in the U.S.

"Fortunately for Chrysler , the U.S. market is of course 10 times the size of the Canadian market," Faria said. "Both the us Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan sales are up [in the U.S.].

"Since we export 90 per cent of all the minivans we make in Windsor. It's far more important for us that the U.S. market be up in sales."