For the 10th straight year, silver has taken the gold as the world’s most popular vehicle color, notching its greatest popularity in a generation, reports PPG Industries Inc.
In North America, the “silver, gray and charcoal” category climbed dramatically in popularity this year, to 31%. The category accounted for 25% in 2009 and 20% in 2008.
Black and white tied for second (18%). Red was third (11%), blue was fourth (10%), naturals (browns, tans, golds, oranges and yellows) were fifth (8%), and green was last (4%.)
But styles change, PPG notes. Just 16 years ago, green captivated 21% of the North American market, making it the most popular choice, while silver appealed to only 8%.
Color Holds On
PPG, the world’s top manufacturer of transportation coatings, unveiled this year’s rankings earlier this month at the annual Automotive Color Trend Show in Michigan.
“There’s clearly been a significant strengthening of silver’s popularity in recent years,” said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive coatings.
And although two-thirds of North Americans stick to black, silver or white, vibrant vehicle colors still have their fans. The bright shades “continue to evolve,” Harrington said. “New advances in pigments and technologies are giving today’s vehicles different textural appearances and iridescent sparkle.”
Silver Takes Europe, Asia
Silver’s popularity and green’s demise are not limited to North America.
Silver and charcoal were also No. 1 this year in Europe, at 32%; followed by black (24%), white (20%), blue (10%), red (9%), naturals (5%), green (1%), and other/niche colors (1%).
Silver and charcoal also bedazzled the Asia/Pacific region (33%), followed by white (21%), black (19%), red (10%), blue (8%), naturals (6%), other/niche colors (4%) and green (2%).
“Color is an important component of how today’s carmakers can define and differentiate a vehicle or brand in the marketplace,” said Harrington. “The palette of colors being developed for the automotive market is clearly being influenced by culture, nature, fashion, movies, media, electronics and many consumer products.”
The show highlighted the automotive color influences from PPG’s other coatings businesses, including protective and marine coatings, industrial coatings, architectural coatings, and aerospace coatings.
PPG presented 66 new exterior automotive shades and five new interior shades at the show. It also highlighted glass flake, mica and other new coatings technologies that add special effects to car exteriors.