For the first time in more than five years, Chrysler’s U.S. monthly sales total tops that of industry giant Toyota.

Chrysler recorded 114,860 deliveries in May, an 18.9% boost from like-2010, compared with Toyota’s 108,387 – a 27.9% plunge, according to Ward’s data, which is adjusted for selling days.

There were 24 selling days last month, compared with 26 in May 2010.

The last time Chrysler beat Toyota was Feburary 2006, according to Ward’s.

Toyota’s nosedive is linked to inventory woes caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that paralyzed Japan.

The pentastar company’s jump occurred even though its Dodge car lineup and Chrysler-brand light trucks suffered sales declines of 17.4% and 49.8%, according to Ward’s.

But every Jeep nameplate still in production recorded double-digit increases, at minimum. Sales of the upgraded Compass C-segment cross/utility vehicle soared 108%, a mark exceeded only by the 216.5% surge of the brand-flagship Grand Cherokee.

Jeep sales totaled 35,573 for a 67.9% hike from like-2010.

The Ram fullsize pickup, Chrysler’s volume flagship, did not disappoint. Its sales rose 23.8% for the month.

Meanwhile, the ’12 Fiat 500 and the Chrysler 200 midsize car line, which launched last year along with the Dodge Durango fullsize SUV, provided key incremental gains.

Chrysler’s May performance is “confirmation that our 2011 models continue to resonate with consumers,” Fred Diaz, Ram president and CEO and lead U.S. sales executive, says in a statement.

In the 18 months following Chrysler’s emergence from bankruptcy in 2009, the auto maker has launched 16 new or significantly refreshed vehicles.

Through May, Chrysler sales totaled 516,974 for a 19.3% gain on like-2010.

– with Christie Schweinsberg

emayne@wardsauto.com