Perspectives: Color Popularity Reports

Article From: Products Finishing, from Products Finishing

Posted on: 2/1/2002

The world may not agree on many things, but in 2001, Asia, Europe and the Americas agreed that silver was their favorite color choice for automobiles.

The world may not agree on many things, but in 2001, Asia, Europe and the Americas agreed that silver was their favorite color choice for automobiles. Silver’s rise in popularity was identified in both DuPont’s annual Global Color Popularity Report, which tracks current color choices and predicts future automotive color trends and PPG Industries’ annual color popularity survey.

Robert S. Daily, color styling and marketing manager for DuPont Herberts Automotive Systems, believes that the trend is due to “sophisticated automotive styling cues” that express technology driven lifestyles.

In North America, silver rose to the top as the color choice for luxury automobiles, according to the DuPont survey, and prevailed in the full/intermediate and sport/compact styles. Silver remained the second most popular color among SUV, truck and van drivers, but, according to the report, “is becoming a contender for the lead.”

The PPG survey showed that, although silver was the color of choice with more than 20% market share in three segments, mid-size, sport/compact and SUV/vans, natural colors led the luxury segment with 22%, and red was the top choice for trucks.

Silver was also quite popular in Europe, outselling all other colors. Blue was still the most popular chromatic color in Europe. Blue is also becoming more popular in North America in both metallic and solid versions for sport/compact and luxury cars.

Yellow is also gaining popularity, and it is predicted to continue gaining popularity. Not necessarily the bright lemon yellow, but more pale shades and softer golden metallics. Of course, bright yellow will still be popular for sporty cars and light trucks.

“Based on color trend research,” stated Marilyn White, manager of advanced styling- international color styling group for PPG, “future colors will be more sophisticated and chromatic due to new effect pigments that add sparkle and provide cleaner colors.”

Several people I know recently purchased new cars. One was dark silver; the others were black, dark blue and pale yellow or gold; all colors on the “top ten” list. What about performance, reliability and extra features? Consumers are first drawn to the finish, the color. That is why the manufacturers pay big bucks to achieve the “perfect” finish, and why there are surveys to find out exactly what the consumer is looking for.


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