December 1, 2015 / 1:16 PM / 3 years ago

Fiat Chrysler sees Nov U.S. auto industry sales up substantially

DETROIT, Dec 1 (Reuters) - U.S. auto industry sales will rise above 18 million vehicles on an annualized basis for November, continuing a pace for a record sales year in 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said on Tuesday.

Fiat Chrysler stretched its streak of consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains, reporting a 3 percent rise in November, based on the strength of its SUV brand Jeep, which jumped 20 percent, the company said.

Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Fiat Chrysler, cited low interest rates, cheaper gasoline and higher employment as reasons for the strong showing of the company and the industry in November.

The Jeep brand increased consumer incentives by 44 percent in November from the previous year, one of the most generous in the industry, according to TrueCar Inc.

Fiat Chrysler expects U.S. November auto sales on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate to be 18.4 million vehicles including medium and heavy trucks.

More than 40 economists and analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected November sales at 18.1 million vehicles on an annualized basis, and the range of estimates by the forecasters was from 17.5 million to 18.6 million vehicles. (Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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