Research from CAP's New Vehicle Data (NVD) department has shown that this trend is continuing and new model ranges currently on sale stand at 760 compared with 615 three years ago. Model derivatives have also surged, with 5,776 currently on offer compared with 4,404 three years ago.
Helen Butterworth, NVD manager at CAP, said: 'The growth in the number of models and derivatives available reflects the determination of manufacturers to appeal to a growing sense of individualism among consumers.
'The ability to develop entire ranges of cars from a common base, with differentiating features effectively bolted on to satisfy individual customer demand, has transformed the new car market.'
The NVD database has shown that 182 new model ranges were introduced in 2003.