Consumers still consider car colour

PPG Industries today released its annual automotive colour popularity data that revealed nearly 60 per cent of consumers identified colour as a major factor in their vehicle-buying decisions and that  carmakers continue to sell a vast majority of cars (nearly 75 per cent) in conservative colours such as white, black, grey and silver.

‘Our research indicates that global car manufacturers have good reason to give their brands and models a unique appearance using colour and effects’

According to PPG’s global build data, white was the most popular colour (up 7 per cent from last year to 35 per cent), followed by black (17 per cent) and silver (12 per cent). Regional trend highlights from the 2015 data include:

  • In North America, white remains most popular (23 per cent), followed by black (19 per cent), grey (17 per cent), silver (15 per cent), red (10 per cent) and blue (8 per cent).
  • In South America, white leads in popularity (36 per cent), followed by silver (31 per cent), black (11 per cent), grey and red (tied at 9 per cent each), and blue (2.5 per cent).
  • In Europe, white remains most popular (31 per cent), followed by black (18 per cent), grey (16 per cent), silver (12 per cent) and blue (9 per cent).
  • In Asia Pacific markets, white remains most popular (44 per cent), followed by black (16 per cent), natural and silver (tied at 10 per cent each), and grey (7 per cent).

In research that PPG conducted among consumers in the U.S. and Europe, three in five respondents (59 per cent) said colour was a major factor in their vehicle-buying decisions. In fact, more than half of respondents said that if the colour they wanted was not available on the lot, they would wait for it to become available before finalizing their purchase instead of purchasing a vehicle in a second-choice colour. PPG’s research also indicated that:

  • Metallic colours are more popular among men, while women show a preference for solid, single-colour non-metallic-looking gloss finishes and pearlescent/coloured sparkle effects.
  • Automotive colour and appearance are especially important among style-conscious male consumers ages 18-39, with respondents saying that they want a vehicle to exude an image of success and in many cases would be willing to pay more to own a vehicle that adequately reflects their personality.

‘Our research indicates that global car manufacturers have good reason to give their brands and models a unique appearance using colour and effects,’ said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, colour styling, automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coatings. ‘Colour and styling choices by OEMs must be responsive to these differences among potential buyers. They need to consider everyone from technology-focused millennials to family-focused baby boomers, monitoring sales data and style trends to try to predict two or three years in advance of a model year what colours and effects they will offer.

‘With a full spectrum of colours that can range in appearance from bright sparkle to silky pearlescence, carmakers today have an endless variety of options. Because we know selecting the right look for a specific brand is very important to each automotive company, PPG helps our customers develop distinctive colours to enhance their future vehicles,’ she added.

Looking to 2016 automotive models, Harrington said the PPG forecast predicts drivers will see more vehicles in shades of blue and orange. Reviewing featured models at international auto shows is an important trend-forward focus, she said, noting that the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit highlighted vehicles in ‘great layered blues’ and the International Geneva Motor Show this year introduced important models showcasing orange- and copper-influenced finishes.