US auto sales expected to drop in August

FILE - In this March 14, 2014 file photo, automated robots build a 2015 Chrysler 200 at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich. What’s happened in the auto industry reveals a lot about how the economy has been transformed _ and why a nearly normal 5.6 percent unemployment isn’t pushing up wages. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

DETROIT (AP) – Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales rose 2 percent in August thanks to strong demand for Jeep SUVs.

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.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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