US auto sales expected to drop in August, but Fiat Chrysler bucks trend

Markets Associated Press

Fiat Chrysler's U.S. sales rose 2 percent in August thanks to strong demand for Jeep SUVs.

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Jeep brand sales were up 18 percent, making up for double-digit declines for the Chrysler and Dodge brands. Fiat Chrysler sold 201,672 vehicles overall.

Other automakers report sales later Tuesday.

Industry sales were expected to drop 3 percent from last August, according to car buying site TrueCar.com. It was the first year-over-year monthly sales decline since January 2014. But industry analysts say a quirk in the calendar — not a lack of demand — was to blame.

Labor Day is typically one of the biggest sales weekends of the year as dealers hold model year-end clearance sales. Last year, Labor Day weekend was counted as part of August sales. This year it's in September.