Transportation coatings company PPG Industries this week released its annual automotive color popularity and trend data and found a repeat winner. Still ranking as globe’s most popular color choice for cars is white.
That being said, based on 2012 automotive build data PPG forecasts that the overall use of color is on the rise.
According to PPG’s survey of global color popularity, white ranked as the most popular color as the choice of 22 percent of respondents, followed by silver at 20 percent, and black at 19 percent.
After the top three colors came gray, named by 12 percent of survey respondents, followed by red at 9 percent; natural at 8 percent; blue at 7 percent; green at 2 percent; and “other colors” at 1 percent.
Many factors go into drivers’ color preferences, PPG officials noted, and automotive leads the way for colors appearing on other products.
“Color is one of the first characteristics noticed in product design, and it is increasingly being used in everyday items, from cell phones to large appliances, based largely on automotive trends,” said Jane Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive OEM coatings. “The palette being developed for the automotive segment continues to be influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, color popularity and new pigment technology.”
Harrington cited 2011 consumer research by PPG showing that color is critically important to car buyers: In that survey, 77 percent of respondents reported vehicle exterior color as a factor in their purchase decision.
Owners of large luxury cars, sporty cars and large premium SUVs placed the most value on getting the color of their choice in the 2011 survey, and 45 percent of respondents noted they would prefer a wider range of color choices, PPG reported.
Additional vehicle color choices could be on the way, as PPG presented 64 new exterior shades for the consideration of automotive designers for the 2015-2016 model years, at PPG’s annual Automotive Color Trend Show, held at its offices in late September.
The company presented its ideas for future vehicle colors to leading global auto manufacturers, introducing colors such as Al Fresco, a silver metallic with green tint; Victoria Grey, grey with an iridescent highlight of gold metal; Opulence, a red pearl with jewel tone; Glacier, a graphite grey with a slight violet blue tone; Sunshine, a high-sparkle intense yellow; and Elixir, a metallic mixture of silver and magenta.
Titled “Perspective,” the 2012 show presented PPG’s viewpoint on color direction, using insight from all the company’s businesses that color items such as laptop computers, homes, buildings, airplanes, ships and heavy equipment, officials said.
“PPG’s internal network of more than 20 color experts and six color styling laboratories around the world keep our company in the vanguard with color trends,” Harrington said. “This global perspective on multiple end-use markets gives PPG unique color expertise that is unmatched in the industry.”
In addition to color trend forecasting, Harrington said PPG continues to develop paint technologies that offer automotive design options and could help manufacturers differentiate their brands.
“For example, metallic flake effects have become increasingly popular,” she said. “A classic color such as blue can be updated with a high-sparkle glass flake or a fine bright aluminum to create more of a liquid or silk appearance.”