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Waiting for green

July 12, 2012

BASF designers present global trend forecast; Green, bronze and brown – report shows which colors will increase in popularity.

The automotive colors of the future will be “naturally cultivated,” according to BASF experts. Nuanced berry and copper tones will enhance the automotive color portfolio of tomorrow, along with the natural colors brown, blue and green, which will experience a rediscovery. While in recent years green has hardly played a role on the roads, in four to five years, the color is predicted to become more popular. These are the results of the BASF designers’ 2012-2013 trend forecast, which has just been published.

Developments in the color world are particularly apparent outside the range of the staple colors black and silver. The brown trend predicted by BASF experts years ago is continuing. For instance, the color is already used for nearly seven percent of the newly registered cars in Germany and will remain at this high level. The report says: “There are signs that the need for more color on the roads is continuing and that, in the future, we will be tapping into further color spaces, such as bronzes and emeralds. Specifically, green is becoming more significant."

“The continued high value assigned to the notion of ecology may now again be signified by the color green and this color will return to cars in four to five years," said Mark Gutjahr, head of Design Europe. "That’s about how long it takes for a trend color to appear on the roads. So we still have to wait a bit for green.”

These days, green is already a color in the current trend forecast put forward by the BASF designers’ from North America, Asia and Europe. The forecast is based on the following social trends.

New diversity

The topic of sustainability continues to be on our radar, attracting attention to not only the environment, but also the everyday world. “This is a sign that products are becoming more similar throughout the world," said Gutjahr. "On the one hand, this is leading to a new appreciation of the past and traditions like handcrafts. On the other hand, by specifically combining and selecting niches, we are trying to foster more diversity again.” When it comes to automotive colors, niches are also being rediscovered. A long-awaited, intensive green is coming to the fore here. In addition, colors such as ruby red and blues are expanding the color range. 

Materials that can be experienced

In politics, business or society, the modern communication technologies are triggering huge changes. Setting the tone are phenomena such as the increasing dematerialization of technology. In the future, technology will be less tangible in a haptic sense, and instead, will be increasingly more intuitive. For instance, the keypad of smart phones has developed into a touch display. “Conversely, we are observing new narrative and haptic qualities in many areas. Heavy substances, striking surfaces and expressive materials such as wood and stone create a stronger emotional charge of the world we live in," said Corinna Sy, designer at BASF Coatings Europe. "In the automotive world, this means that we can expect more intensive colors and bolder effects. The new colors are expressive, but not blatant, like a good story.” With dark berries, intensive browns and coppers, along with radiant emeralds, the designers anticipate powerful color experiences on the roads.

Global team, regional features

Carmakers are working and thinking globally. For this reason, BASF’s design team has a global presence, sounding out international trends without ignoring regional features or color trends. In order to do justice to the increasing significance of the booming automotive industry in Asia Pacific, and specifically to the local manufacturers, the designers have included special Asia Pacific and China-specific colors in their trend collection. The Asia Pacific and Chinese color trends will be unveiled in the region later in the month.

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