Chrysler Group recorded its fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases, as August sales rose 7 percent.
Fresh from its bankruptcy exit a year earlier, Chrysler had a 15 percent August decline while the industry advanced 1 percent, thanks to the U.S. incentive program designed to spur sales of fuel-efficient vehicles.
The Jeep brand led the way last month with a 17 percent increase. The Wrangler was the hottest-selling Jeep, up 37 percent. Dodge sales rose 8 percent, while Ram pickups were up 5 percent. The Chrysler brand dropped 4 percent.
Chrysler still relies on light trucks for most of its sales. The company sold 72,270 minivans, pickups and SUVs in August compared with 27,341 cars. But car sales grew 36 percent for the month while trucks advanced just 2 percent.
As usual, Ram full-sized pickups were Chrysler Group's top seller -- 18,995 units in August, up 8 percent from a year earlier. The Chrysler Town & Country minivan was the company's No. 2 seller, with a 26 percent gain.
Sales to fleets account for much of Chrysler's recent sales increases. According to internal documents obtained by Automotive News, 39 percent of Chrysler's sales from January through July were non-retail. Like most automakers, Chrysler doesn't break out fleet sales from the total.
Chrysler said it finished August with a 50-day supply of vehicles, or 197,987 units.
The sales increase comes as Chrysler is rolling out a number of new or refreshed products following its 2009 bankruptcy hiatus -- 16 vehicles in all this year by the company's count.