Jeep leads Chrysler's 20 percent US sales increase in August

MarketsAssociated Press

Chrysler says its U.S. sales last month rose 20 percent over a year ago for its best August in 12 years.

The numbers are a sign of a strong month as dealers sell off 2014 models to make room for new ones.

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Chrysler sold just over 198,000 vehicles last month, led once again by the Jeep brand with sales up 49 percent. Jeeps are in a sweet spot as buyers shift from cars to crossover SUVs. Jeep's hottest-selling vehicle was the new Cherokee midsize SUV with nearly 19,000 sales. Ram pickup sales rose 33 percent.

Chrysler's car sales fell 3 percent, but truck sales were up 28 percent.

Industry analysts are expecting August sales to increase only slightly from a year ago. But last August was a strong month.