Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Tuesday logged a better-than-expected 1.7% increase in U.S. auto sales in August despite a calendar quirk and a tough year-over-year comparison, extending the auto maker’s streak of sales gains to 65 months. More sales results from auto makers are due out later Tuesday, and overall U.S. sales are expected to cool in August as the impact of a later Labor Day masked an otherwise strong month of buying. Much of the blame for the lackluster sales is the accounting for Labor Day holiday purchases. For the first time since 2012, those sales will be included in September results. Traditionally, Labor Day sales are reported in August when the holiday falls in early September. This year, it falls on Sept. 7. Last August also included one more selling day, which—coupled with the impact of Labor Day—helped make it the strongest month for auto sales of 2014, according to Sterne Agee. Still, the seasonally adjusted annualized rate is expected to come in above 17 million new cars and trucks for the fourth month in a row as the gravy train of low lease rates, cheap gas and consumer enthusiasm continues to roll. The last time the industry had a four month sales streak above 17 million vehicles was 2006.
Source: The Wall Street Journal