Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2002   by Auto Service World

Bodyshop News: Silver, not Gold, Reigns Supreme


Like Canadian figure skating perfection gone awry, silver was the top color for automobiles in 2001.

The Dupont Color Popularity Report, which has tracked color trends for 50 years, says that silver swept the top spot in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The figures, which actually reflect the 2001 market, show the rising influence of technology in our lives.

“Sophisticated automotive styling cues, such as the color silver, express the technology-driven lifestyles of today’s consumers,” said Robert S. Daily, color styling and marketing manager for DuPont Herberts Automotive Systems, the OEM coatings unit of DuPont Automotive. “We’re seeing new vehicle designs with clean lines and sharp edges that are enhanced by silver.”

In the North American market, the notable changes are silver’s rise to become the top color choice in the luxury category, while remaining dominant in the full/intermediate and sport/compact segments. Silver remains the second most popular color in the SUV/truck/van segment, but is fast becoming a contender for the lead.

Blue is gaining strength in North America in both metallic and solid versions for sport/compact and luxury vehicles. Blues with reddish tints are gaining popularity in smaller performance-oriented cars, while gray/blues are covering larger vehicles.

An ongoing retro-trend also is apparent, with the rise of yellow as a top 12 color over the past two years, with continued gains predicted for 2002. It is seen in pale shades and soft golden metallics for sport luxury vehicles, with stronger hues adding emphasis to sporty cars and light trucks.

The move to a “heritage look” through classic colors such as yellow may be driven by consumers’ need to connect with comfortable traditions while still embracing a bit of optimism, according to Daily. More recent trends include the emphasis in the U.S. on red, white and blue, which were in the top five for three of four vehicle categories.

LUXURY VEHICLES

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b>2001 Color/Rank (2000 Rank) Market Share (% of vehicles)
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
1. Silver (2) 18.4 17.2 14.8 9.2 6.7
2. Med. Gray (7) 17.3 6.6 8.3 5.3 n/a
3. White Pearl (-) 14.8 n/a
4. Black (3) 11.1 10.8 9.4 12.3 11.0
5. Med./Dk. Blue (6) 9.4 7.1 4.9 4.8 n/a
6. White (5) 9.0 7.1 10.3 11.3 10.1
7. Medium Red (8) 6.0 6.1 6.0 7.5 5.2
8. Gold (9) 5.4 5.3 7.0 4.8 n/a
9. Med./Dk. Red (-) 2.2 n/a
10. Med./Dk. Green (10) 2.2 4.3 6.1 10.0 13.0
NOT IN TOP 10 IN 2001 (2000 RANK)
White Metallic (1) 19.8 15.8 12.3 12.6
Light Brown (4) 8.6 12.9 17.7 19.8

FULL-SIZE/INTERMEDIATE CARS

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b>2001 Color/Rank (2000 Rank) Market Share (% of vehicles)
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
1. Silver (1) 25.4 22.3 16.2 10.4 5.7
2. Black (2) 14.5 14.4 14.7 15.0 12.9
3. Med./Dk. Blue (8) 11.3 5.0 8.5 5.3 5.4
4. White (3) 9.8 11.4 14.0 14.7 13.9
5. Medium Red (6) 7.4 8.3 7.0 6.4 7.5
6. Med./Dk. Green (5) 6.7 9.7 12.4 15.9 20.3
7. Light Brown (4) 6.2 9.9 8.5 7.0 12.8
8. Bright Red (7) 5.3 7.5 8.5 9.5 9.1
9. Dark Red (-) 2.6 n/a 4.5 n/a
10. Med./Dk. Gray 2.0 n/a
NOT IN TOP 10 IN 2001 (2000 Rank)
Teal/Aqua (9) 2.6 4.0 n/a
Bright Blue (10) 2.1 n/a

SPORT/COMPACT CARS

2001 Color/Rank (2000 Rank) Market Share (% of vehicles)
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
1. Silver (1) 24.9 21.5 14.1 11.0 4.8
2. White (2) 14.1 13.0 15.4 15.6 17.0
3. Med./Dk. Green (4) 10.0 10.7 13.9 16.4 17.5
4. Black (3) 9.8 11.5 11.7 8.9 8.0
5. Med./Dk. Blue (6) 8.9 7.0 6.4 6.0 3.9
6. Light Brown (5) 8.1 8.5 14.0 14.1 14.4
7. Gold (10) 7.2 3.5 1.8 n/a
8. Dark Red (-) 4.9 n/a
8. Medium Red (7) 4.8 6.9 5.7 6.5 7.4
10. Bright Red (9) 3.1 3.8 4.9 n/a 4.0
NOT IN TOP 10 IN 2001 (2000 RANK)
Medium Gray (8) 4.3 4.3 n/a 6.6

TRUCKS, VANS, SUVs

2001 Color/Rank (2000 Rank) Market Share (% of vehicles)
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
1. White (1) 19.6 23.1 26.2 22.5 23.2
2. Silver (2) 17.8 14.1 7.7 6.2 3.7
3. Black (4) 11.2 10.6 11.2 11.5 11.2
4. Med./Dk. Blue (3) 10.4 11.1 8.4 4.7 2.9
5. Medium Red (6) 8.4 6.2 7.4 7.2 7.5
6. Med./Dk. Green (5) 7.4 8.3 11.0 15.5 18.5
7. Bright Red (7) 5.3 5.4 6.1 7.1 7.6
8. Light Brown (-) 4.6 6.2 6.1 6.1
9. Gold (8) 3.8 4.1 n/a
10. Med./Dk. Gray (9) 2.5 3.9 n/a* (*4.5 Med. combined with
Dk. in 2001 and 1999.)
NOT IN TOP 10 IN 2001 (2000 Rank)
Dark Red (10) 3.2 3.1 4.5 5.2 5.8 2.8

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