Automakers offer a record 1,314 light-vehicle models for the 2002 model year in the United States - 545 cars plus 769 pickups, vans and sport-utilities.
The light-truck total is the highest ever for that category, but the record for car models was set in the late 1920s, when 40 manufacturers had about 800 models on the market.
The proliferation of models into new segments and niches doesn't guarantee a corresponding growth in market share, according to an Automotive News analysis.
Among the top six manufacturers, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. sells the most cars per model. Honda and Acura models account for just 3 percent of all the light-vehicle models offered in the United States, but in the first five months of 2002, American Honda took 7 percent of sales.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. has just 4.9 percent of the models, but Toyota and Lexus models took 10.5 percent of sales in the first five months of the year. During the same period, Ford Motor Co., without its import brands, accounted for 23.9 percent of the models but just 20 percent of sales.
As a group, General Motors, Ford and the Chrysler group have 61.3 percent of the models on the market and had 61.8 percent of the sales in the first five months of this year.
Although the Big 3 have neglected the car market in recent years, their car offerings took 47.1 percent of U.S. car sales with only 36.3 percent of the car models.
In trucks, the Big 3 offered 78.9 percent of the truck models and posted 76.2 percent of truck deliveries in the January-May period.
Transplants and true imports offer 63.7 percent of the car models but account for only 52.9 percent of sales.
In trucks, it's 21.1 percent of the models and 23.3 percent of sales.
Overall, import-badged cars and trucks have 38.7 percent of the models offered and 38.1 percent of sales.