DETROIT (AP) -- Chrysler says its U.S. sales rose nearly 12 percent last month - its best September in five years.

The company says the increase was due to new models, low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy.

The results mean that Americans kept buying new cars and trucks at a strong pace last month. Chrysler predicts an annual sales rate of 14.9 million for the U.S. industry in September, which would make it the best month of the year.

Chrysler sold 142,000 vehicles, led by the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan, which saw sales jump 89 percent from a year earlier.

Chrysler was the first automaker to report sales on Tuesday.

Industry analysts predict U.S. sales of more than 1.1 million vehicles for September, an increase of 11 percent from a year earlier.

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