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Fiat Chrysler U.S. sales rise 8 pct on strong Jeep sales

(Corrects to show in last paragraph that Chrysler brand sales rose, not fell)

By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT, July 1 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. June auto sales rose 8 percent from a year ago, boosted by the continued strength of its Jeep SUV brand.

U.S. auto sales, often an early snapshot into consumer spending each month, are expected to rise about 5 percent for the industry. Truck and SUV sales will again grow at a faster pace than sedans, aided by moderately low gasoline prices.

Sales of Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand jumped 25 percent in June, led by a 39 percent surge in mid-sized Cherokee sales, the company said on Wednesday.

Chrysler 200 sedan sales rose 153 percent to 18,560 vehicles. Private industry data reviewed by Reuters showed that in the first half of the year, a large portion of Chrysler 200 sedan sales were to rental agencies.

Sales of the Chrysler brand rose 28 percent, despite Town & Country minivan production slowing as the plant where it is made is in transition to a new model.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)