- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales jumped 14 percent in September, helped in part by another strong month from the carmaker’s Jeep brand.

Jeep sales rose 40 percent, and Fiat Chrysler sold more than 193,000 vehicles overall in what the company described as its best September since 2000.

Other automakers report sales later Thursday.

Analysts expect most automakers to report strong results, partly because of the late Labor Day holiday. Kelly Blue Book forecast a 12 percent increase in sales from a year ago to 1.39 million cars and trucks.

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.

Fiat Chrysler said the September Jeep sales growth amounted to the brand’s third-best month ever. Jeep Cherokee sales climbed 38 percent last month to 20,224, while another popular brand, the Wrangler, rose 26 percent to 17,583.

Gains from the company’s Jeep brands offset slower growth elsewhere. Sales for the company’s Ram and Dodge brands climbed 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

The U.S. market has remained a bright spot for automakers as the Chinese economy slows. China is still the No. 1 market globally.

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