Led by an almost endless string of Ford F-series pickups, the number of car and light-truck models has risen to 984 for the current model year. A year ago, the total was 924.
The figures are detailed by company and by nameplate in the 1998 Automotive News Market Data Book, the annual reference/statistical issue that will be published May 27.
Light trucks dominate the model-count charts with 559 selections vs. 425 for cars. Last year, it was 477 trucks and 447 cars.
Ford Division accounted for the increase. It lists 144 F-series pickups, compared with 75 last year. The increases are in the F-250/350 Super Duty category - 84 models now and 15 a year ago.
Ford's chief rivals manage to do quite well with only a fraction as many models. Compared with Ford's 144 full-sized pickups, Chevrolet and GMC have 29 each, and Dodge has 28.
Imports and transplants are far behind the three domestic producers on the truck side. They have only 108 pickups, vans and sport-utilities on the U.S. market, compared to 451 for General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp.
It's a different story in cars. GM, Ford and Chrysler offer only 152 North American-made models (it was 260 in 1986). Foreign-based firms make 77 models in North America (transplants), and another 196 models are imported.
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