DETROIT -- Chrysler's U.S. sales rose 12 percent last month as strong truck sales pushed the company to its best August in six years.
The automaker sold nearly 166,000 cars and trucks last month. Sales of its best-selling Ram pickup rose 31 percent.
Chrysler predicts that total U.S. sales will run at an annual rate of 16.1 million, a pace last seen before the Great Recession. Industry analysts say August could be the best month since May of 2007, when $3 a gallon gasoline set off panic buying of fuel-thrifty vehicles.
All major automakers report sales numbers Wednesday. General Motors figures will be announced after 10 a.m.
LMC Automotive, an industry consulting firm, is predicting that total U.S. sales last month were close to 1.5 million, about 12 percent higher than a year ago and the highest monthly total in more than six years.
This time, small cars aren't the only big sellers. Analysts say people are buying everything from tiny Honda Fits to big pickup trucks as an improving economy keeps pushing auto sales higher.