October 23, 2013

White rules the road as top new-car color choice

But blue and red are making inroads for sporty models, while the future holds enhanced, brand-specific shades.

Detroit Free Press

No drum roll needed: The most popular car color in the world for the 2013 model year was white.

click image to enlarge

Jane Harrington, PPG’s manager of automotive color styling, shows off the company’s color palette in Troy, Mich., on Tuesday.

The Associated Press

One in four new-car buyers chose a white vehicle. That’s up 3 percent from last year, according to data from PPG Industries, the largest supplier of transportation coatings.

Silver and black tied for second at 18 percent each, according to the annual automotive build data, followed by gray, red, natural hues, blue and green, which stayed the course from 2012.

In North America, white remained most popular at 21 percent, followed by black (19 percent), gray (17 percent) and silver (15 percent).

But Americans are showing a growing appetite for red and blue, especially on sporty models, and blue could move up the ranks in 2014.

When it comes to minivans, they want gold and beige.

There are regional differences. Silver reigns in South America, accounting for a third of all new purchases.

For the white lovers, “we see growth in the variety of whites being offered to consumers,” said Jane Harrington, PPG manager of color styling.

“Car manufacturers are seeking ways to create variations of white, silver, black and gray that are specific to their brands and that complement different vehicle types,” using different micas, glass flakes and pigments, she said.

More than 60 new colors will be introduced for the 2016 and 2017 model years.

PPG has 23 color experts who focus on auto, architectural, aerospace and consumer products to analyze design trends and consumer preferences that will influence future color choices.

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