While consumers’ preference for white decreased this year by one percent, from 33 percent in 2016, the shade remains the overall top pick for vehicles in five of the six European countries surveyed for the data. As a whole, the color’s favorability has grown by five percent over the past five years in this region. Throughout Europe, both metallic and solid versions of white are the most popular options for luxury, compact and mini-van automobiles. But, European consumers prefer blue on sports cars more frequently than any other car type.
“PPG’s leading position in paint and colour forecasting allows us to analyze cross-cultural and cross-industry trends with our 20 global colour stylists from seven countries,” said Jane Harrington, PPG manager, automotive colour styling. “While we know that automotive colour trends are inspired by multiple industries, they are unique compared to fashion or home décor since the trends evolve and change slowly over time instead of significantly year-to-year. While white, black, gray and silver continue to be popular colour choices, we’re seeing a steady increase in the desire for cars in varying blue and brown shades.”
PPG automotive colour preferences by region for 2017 include:
- North America: White (25 percent) remained steady as the top color preference, while black (21 percent) and gray (17 percent) rose two percent and five percent, respectively. Silver (13 percent) dropped six percent, followed closely by red and blue (both 10 percent);
- South America: White (38 percent) continued to dominate in this region, while silver (31 percent) was close behind, rising two percent over prior year. Black (10 percent), gray (nine percent) and red (eight percent) remained other popular choices;
- Europe: White (32 percent), gray (18 percent), black (17 percent) and silver (nine percent) remained almost consistent with 2016, while blue (nine percent) saw an increase in consumer preference;
- Asia Pacific: White (44 percent) remained the most popular in this region. Black (15 percent) trailed, as well as silver (10 percent) and natural (10 percent), which includes gold, beige, orange and brown hues.
Comforting neutrals that consumers are craving in fashion, technology and their homes cause silver and gray to continue to be popular in automotive colors across all types of vehicles due to slight nuances in colour and classic roots, Harrington noted. Chameleon-like hues that have gray and blue undertones remain top choices among consumers, as they represent calm, comfort and a middle ground.
PPG’s CORE Relation automotive colour palettes for 2021 models include the following four color stories that connect and resonate with current consumer mindsets.
- The Retreater theme focuses on the need to retreat from the pressures and overstimulation of technology and 24/7 schedules. It underscores living well, finding quiet time and creating opportunities for calm, balance and peace. The colors are earthen tones inspired by stone, marble, sand and clay paired with white and easy pastel shades. The trending gray, natural and blue-gray automotive color trends are perfectly depicted in this color story, shown through a global one percent decrease in the preference of red and a global two percent increase in the preference of gray;
- Dream Weaver trend theme represents a rebellion to live loud, pursue pleasure and revel boldly in life. The eclectic palette expresses decadence and a carefree spirit, reflective of festival-goers and free-spirited consumers. Saturated bright colors are offset with high sparkle dark tones. Chromatic layered colors in tinted clears and varying degrees of saturation expand future automotive color options, including eye-catching reds, unusual greens and deep oranges;
- The Commoner theme represents simplicity without disengaging from the world. Customers attracted to this palette focus on creating a minimalistic lifestyle with an appreciation of no-fuss basics. Key colors for this palette are a mix of almost-primary reds, blues, basic white, natural browns and greens;
- The Brave theme represents transformation and strength, a visual reaction to global unrest and uncertainty. There is a secondary underlying quality of elegance and glamour, as this palette integrates opulent jewel tones, such as sapphire, elegant browns and warm neutrals.
For more than 80 years, PPG has been on the forefront of automotive coatings innovation. The company combines its extensive knowledge of coatings and special effects technologies with analysis of industry trends to aid automakers around the world in enhancing the image and identity of their vehicle brands.
Because PPG’s paint colours are sold in more than 70 countries, developing colour trends is a global, cross-cultural effort. PPG has 20 colour stylists around the world who specialize in industries that include consumer electronics, architectural, automotive and aerospace. These experts study consumer insights, building material trends, décor trends and more to select a colour forecast that resonates and is reflective of current consumer attitudes that span cultures, regions and markets.