Although white, silver and black dominate the global mass auto market, car enthusiasts around the world are leaning toward various treatments of blue, according to auto industry designers and a global team of DuPont colour designers.
“This year, we thought it would be interesting to ask car and colour designers in mid year about automobile buyers’ colour preferences,” said Karen Surcina, colour marketing and technology manager — DuPont Automotive Systems. For the last 55 years, the DuPont Global Automotive Colour Popularity Report has provided a year-end, data-based snapshot of mass market car color preferences.
Blue also plays a role in North American tastes, says Nancy Lockhart, DuPont color designer for North America.
She sees lighter blues emerging with a reddish accent representing a clean, fresh trend.
Medium and dark shades of blue are more greenish, evoking a modern feel.
White tri-coats such as pearls are chosen by buyers for their luxurious, yet unpretentious presentation.
Oranges and golds are also important and reddish gold is an emerging influence, she said.
“While current economic conditions in North America are not being felt in car color choices, people are clearly being influenced by the ‘green’ movement, with natural versions of bold colors taking hold,” Lockhart said.
“For example, copper seems to be replacing flashier gold finishes and royal blues will give way to lighter, cleaner and more water-like blues.
“Even white will change, with ultra whites and yellowish whites giving way to cleaner versions.”
“White seems to be the most prominent color on the road and on everyone’s mind in design,” said Mollie Engel, senior color designer for Kia Design Center America.
“It is the new luxury color and it is also ecological.
“The lighter the colors we use, the less ‘solar gain’ is encouraged, and that means less gas we use to cool our cars.”
Economic uncertainty in North America seems to be influencing people to return to basics such as white and red, according to Engel, “but they are new versions of these common color spaces.” While Engel doesn’t see car buyers moving toward blue, she sees a growing importance of “olive greens” as well as earth tones such as dark grey, bronze and dark browns as “part of this new, classically modern palette.”
Aftermarket color choices, such as those selected for custom cars and high-end restorations, are also highly individualistic, but don’t conform to color trends seen in the new car market, according to Janine Little, marketing manager for the DuPont Hot Hues line of automotive finishes.
“Economic conditions don’t seem to have a huge effect on custom car enthusiasts,” Little said.
“Some people save their money to take dream vacations — car enthusiasts save to build their dream cars.”
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