For decades, silver, black and white have been the overwhelming color of choice for motorists worldwide, accounting for up to 80 percent of the cars on the road.
Enough, says BASF Automotive Coatings.
The manufacturer’s latest automotive color trend is forecasting “powerful color experiences”—featuring honest-to-God colors—on tomorrow’s highways.
BASF Automotive Coatings
|The 1973 Datsun 240Z, 1967 Corvette Sting Ray, and 1970 Barracuda are gone, but their colors may return.|
The company should know: BASF Coatings develops, produces and markets a range of automotive OEM coatings and automotive refinishes, in addition to its industrial and decorative portfolios. In 2011, the business reported global sales of $3.5 billion.
Dark berry. Radiant emerald. Copper, bronze, and blue. The manufacturer’s report predicts natural and “naturally cultivated” hues coming soon to a road near you.
While no one is predicting the death of the white car, “there is a rich diversity of potential shades that is returning to the market,” said Paul Czornij, Technical Manager for the BASF Color Excellence group.
He credits “the increasing inclination of society to celebrate beauty in earth tones and more traditional green and blue hues” for the trend.
The color green, rarely seen on the roads today, is expected to catch on within four or five years, BASF forecasts. Similarly, it says, white, silver, and gray “will gradually wane in popularity at the expense of more saturated colors like blues and browns.”
“There are signs from automakers and consumers that the desire for more color on the roads is continuing,” says Mark Gutjahr, Head of Design for BASF in Europe, who says car buyers “will be tapping into further color spaces.”
‘Sense of Purpose’
Blues, greens and browns also play to consumers’ social conscience—”a stronger awareness for things great and small, which in turn raises social responsibility,” said Czornij. Strong and subtle Earth colors alike “evoke this sense of purpose.”
Touchable colors—those that reflect wood, stone and other “expressive materials”—will also become more alluring for their ability to “create a stronger emotional connection to the world we live in,” said Corinna Sy, designer at BASF Coatings Europe. “The new colors are expressive, but not blatant, like a good story,” Sy says.
The new forecast also gives a nod to the fast-growing Chinese automotive industry, with shades of gold and other tones specially developed for that market.
“The vivid hues support these trends and are balanced with metallic effects that bring increased prominence to this growing segment,” according to BASF.