Chrysler June sales up 20 percent, slightly above expectations

DETROIT, Tue Jul 3, 2012, – Chrysler Group LLC’s June U.S. auto sales rose 20 percent to 144,811 vehicles, the company said on Tuesday, slightly topping analyst expectations.

It was the 27th consecutive month that Chrysler sales topped those from the previous year, and its best June sales since 2007.

Chrysler, an affiliate of Italy’s Fiat SpA, is the first of the major automakers to report U.S. June sales.

J.D. Power and Associates and LMC Automotive expect a 20-percent gain in U.S. auto sales for June.

Auto sales are an early sign of consumer spending each month. The auto industry has been one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy this year, but deteriorating European markets have led industry executives to worry about possible contagion spreading to North America.

The Chrysler brand of vehicles showed a 63-percent gain in sales, followed by its Jeep brand at a 23-percent gain, Ram truck up 12 percent and the Dodge brand up only 2 percent, Chrysler said.

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