A smashing reversal of popular trends was announced today when PPG Industries, the automotive paint supplier, conducted its annual color survey. Whites, silvers, and monochromes were out. Instead, what’s in for 2012 is a kaleidoscope of colors, ranging from Gotta Have It Green to Go Mango and Plum Crazy, and even expanding into the surreal: unyieldingly horrific shades of black, taped pinstripes laid down by the ghost of Von Dutch Himself, vinyl wraps depicting the Battle of Antietam, Hooloovoo, blue stripes angled sideways…
Turns out, none of these things happened. The most popular shade for cars–continuing a trend that seems to go back forever–was white, with silver following quickly behind. White cars made up 22 percent of new car sales, up from 21 percent last year, while silver remained steady and reliable at 20 percent. Black and grey took 19 and 12 percent, respectively; the highest percent any color took was red, which led all other colors at 9 percent—not even two digits ahead. And brown, a color that we’ve trumpeted in the past, is gaining traction, as it’s synonymous with craftsmanship—teak armoires, Old Ironsides, and your grandpa’s pipe.
What’s the conclusion that we can draw from this? Easy: when it comes time to buying a car, we take our color advice from our dogs.
Some factors include the fact that every carmaker offers monochromes for every car they build—especially the Germans—but only a handful of cars get the truly vibrant shades. You can get a Ford Fiesta in Lime Squeeze and Race Red, but not a Lincoln MKZ. The really popular colors get trotted out in press photos, in advertising campaigns and across billboards, but the American buying public is more shy than that.
“On a Ford Fiesta, Mini Cooper or Fiat 500, there is a brighter range of colors offered than would be on a Lincoln MKX or a Cadillac,” said Jane Harrington, the color styling manager at PPG. “If I think of the Volkswagen Beetle, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad color on a Beetle.”
Last year, PPG found in a survey that 77 percent of customers rank car color as an important factor—almost as important as in-car technology. Want SYNC or Cadillac’s CUE? Nah, get a Mustang in Grabber Blue instead. And based on this emphasis of the right car color, consumers buy more white cars so manufacturers offer more white, or monochrome, colors: white begets more white, it seems.
Source: Automotive News