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White Remains Top Car Color, PPG Industries Reports

December 10, 2014

TROY, Mich. — White continues to be the most popular car color globally, according to PPG Industries annual automotive color popularity data.

According to PPG’s global data, white ranked first (up 3% from last year to 28%), followed by black (18%), and silver and gray tied for third (13% each). Silver’s popularity continues to decrease across the globe, dropping seven percent over the last two years.

“Car manufacturers across the world are continually seeking new ways to create a unique appearance for models and vehicle brands. As color selection takes place two or three years in advance of a model year, it is important for auto makers to combine color popularity with global consumer trends,” said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive OEM coatings. “Today, automotive manufacturers can choose from a broad array of colors as well as a wide assortment of variations of conservative hues such as white, silver, black and gray, and distinct effects such as micas, glass flakes, fine bright aluminum and hue-shifting pigments.”

The 2014 data also highlighted regional trends. In North America, white remains most popular (23%), followed by black (18%), gray (16%) and silver (15%). In South America, silver and white lead in popularity (32% each), followed by black (13%), gray (11%), red (8%) and blue (2%).

Additionally, in Europe, white remains most popular (25%), followed by black (15%) and gray (14%), and natural shades such as golds, beiges, yellows, oranges and browns continue to grow in popularity (12%). In Asia Pacific markets, white remains most popular (31%), followed by black (20%) and silver (12%).

Across North American vehicle types manufactured in 2014, PPG found that 10% of automobiles were coated in natural hues such as golds, beiges, yellows, oranges and browns. Browns in particular are growing in popularity in midsize and sport utility vehicle (SUV) models.

Sports models continue to be the most likely to feature red, blue or green shades. All three colors overtook gray and silver as more popular colors for sports models. Luxury vehicles, 24% of which were white in 2014, are most likely to feature effect finishes such as metallic or pearl tri-coat.

Looking to 2015 models, Harrington said PPG believes drivers will continue to see an increase in natural tones such as coppers, oranges and browns. New models also may be influenced by metal tones such as bronze, pewter and rose gold, which have had a significant influence across fashion, jewelry, furniture and industrial design in recent years.

In addition, consumers will have access to the same high-definition experience they now readily consume across entertainment platforms, with access to “high-depth” color — a deeper, richer version of color — especially in 2015 models that offer blues, reds and yellows.

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