White/white pearl dominates the global automotive colour popularity ranks for the second consecutive year, according to reports by both DuPont and PPG released before Christmas.
According to DuPont, black/black effect moves into second place in the global ranks this year, largely due to increased popularity in the Asia Pacific market, as this colour has a worldwide perception of high quality and luxury. Silver fell to third, reflecting a gradual decline, especially in the critical large automotive markets of Europe and Asia.
The DuPont report, in its 60th year, is the largest and longest-running report of its kind in the automotive industry. It is the only report to include global automotive colour popularity rankings and regional trends from 11 leading automotive regions of the world.
White/white pearl moved to top the ranks in Europe in 2012, and was in the leading position as the most popular car colour in North America, Japan, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, and Mexico. Overall, white/white pearl represents 23% of the global market in DuPont’s 2012 report.
Over the past decade, white has held significant rankings in automotive colour popularity and is widely seen in other consumer products worldwide. During this timeframe, white’s popularity had been highlighted across all vehicle segments, though historically, it had been most popular among the truck segment. Past advancements in pearlescent whites enabled this colour to initially break into the luxury segments.
Today, white tri-coats are more readily applicable to the global manufacturing base and evoke quality and value among a variety of vehicle segments, according to Nancy Lockhart, DuPont colour marketing manager. Solid whites have been seen in vanilla shades, stone shades and the current preference of bright whites.
Silver peaked during the start of the digital age between 2000 and 2006, says Lockhart. “We’re seeing more luxury vehicle purchases now that the economy has started to stabilize, and vehicles painted black/black effect are seen as luxury status symbols in several key global markets.”
Meanwhile, PPG Industries’ recent release of its annual automotive colour popularity and trend data also found that white retained the leading spot as the most popular car colour based on 2012 automotive build data, but forecasts that the overall use of colour is on the rise.
According to PPG’s annual survey of global colour popularity, white ranked first (22%) and silver was second (20%), followed by black (19%), grey (12%), red (9%), natural (8%), blue (7%), green (2%) and other colours (1%).
“Colour 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,” says Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, colour styling, automotive OEM (original equipment manufacturer) coatings. “The palette being developed for the automotive segment continues to be influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, colour popularity and new pigment technology.”
A 2011 survey of automotive consumers by PPG revealed that:
• 77 percent of respondents said exterior colour was a factor in their automotive purchase decision.
• Owners of large luxury cars, sporty cars, and large premium SUVs place the most value on getting the colour of their choice.
• 45 percent of respondents said they would prefer a wider range of colour choices.
In addition to colour trend forecasting, PPG continues to develop paint technologies that offer automotive design options for enhancing appearance and helping automobile manufacturers differentiate their brands, according to Harrington. “For example, metallic flake effects have become increasingly popular. A classic colour 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,” she says.