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"Under the Radar” Showcases BASF’s Automotive Color Trends



Published August 1, 2014
This year’s BASF Coatings Color Collection 2014/2015 report, “Under the Radar,” predicts a new level of normality is coming as North America bounces back from the recession and society embraces the unpretentious beauty of the “flyover states.”

“‘Under the Radar’ helps car companies predict the mood of a specific region and provides exterior coating recommendations that reflect the ideals that may become popular two to three years out,” said Paul Czornij, technical manager for the BASF Color Excellence group. “Noting many political, societal and technological references, we realized that the ‘flyover states’ and the Rust Belt regions are becoming increasingly productive in our post-Recession era.”

Local Color Trends

The five local theme colors automakers may consider in North America for model year 2018 vehicles are:
•   La Garra Charrua – a light blue color representing an unpretentious look at mother nature reminiscent of the prairie spaces in middle America.

•   Haymaker – a rich orange that seems dirty, but upon a second glance, sparkles much like the charm of a rusty factory in one of America’s Rust Belt cities.

•   Fitted Green – a soft green exemplifying the look of fresh mowed grass and a gentle reminder of a simpler, sustainable life.

•   Gray Elevator – a dark silver that has an imprint of American culture woven through it as the tone harkens to a connected world where people come together.

•   Take 10,000 – a brownish color with a lot of sparkle that reminds individuals to remember the specialness of natural experiences.


The North American local theme focuses on today’s individuals who are innovating in the most unlikely areas. For example, once a cash-only model, farmer’s markets are now offering credit card capabilities.  The “cottage industry” is another example as individuals are harkening back to a simpler time and developing low-key solutions that advance society through modest, yet sustainable models.

“The colors we’ve chosen will highlight a car‘s beauty and create a strong color memory while reflecting both the driver’s desires and the North American consciousness,” said Czornij.

Global Color Trends

“Under the Radar” also presents 60 other colors representing worldwide automotive color trends pulling expertise from studios in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Through intensive collaboration, the teams provide automotive customers with global trends and regional differences in the world of color.

The global theme of the latest color trend forecast, “Under the Radar”, indicates a budding trend – people around the world will appreciate uniqueness and see their individual thinking and actions increasingly impactful in society. The choices of automotive colors will reflect an increased consumer demand for differentiation and individuality. Bright colors as well as warm-influenced colors in new metal effects will enrich the color portfolio of the cars of tomorrow.


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