White, Black, And Gray Are The Most Popular Car Colors: Study
Red and blue becoming more and more popular in North America.
“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” These famous words by Henry Ford had nothing to do with style as economics was what forced him to offer only a single color option for the Model T back in the early years of the 20th century. Fast forward to present day, you can have your new car finished in basically all imaginable colors, yet black is still among the most popular options in the automotive world.
Axalta’s Global Automotive Color Popularity Report for 2019 reveals which are the most popular automotive hues with white dominating the chart for the ninth consecutive year. Surprised or not, 38 percent of the customers opt for white cars, followed by 19 percent black cars, and 13 percent grey cars. In total, these top three colors, together with the fourth-ranked silver, represent 80 percent of market share globally.
“While the top four neutral colors – white, black, grey and silver – continue to lead preferences globally, we are starting to see other colors make moves in popularity that might not have been thinkable in past years,” Nancy Lockhart, manager at Axalta, comments. “For sure, the consumer is truly beginning to change the way they view their vehicle’s color, and Axalta is prepared to partner with our automotive customers to meet those needs.”
Regionally wise, North America remains the biggest market for red cars, while Russians have a crush for brown/beige vehicles. The most important highlight in Europe is the fact that grey is now the most popular new car color on the continent, surpassing the long-time favorite white color for the first time in many years. Meanwhile, blue remains most popular in the United States and on the Old Continent.
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- Dominates Consumer Preference for the Ninth Consecutive Year
- Grey Outranks Silver for #3 Spot on the Global List
- Silver’s Popularity is the Lowest in a Decade
- Grey is Leading Auto Colour in Europe for the First Time Ever
Glen Mills, PA, USA November 6, 2019 – Axalta (NYSE: AXTA) today released its 67th annual Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, which reveals the top three automotive colours as: white (38%), black (19%), and grey (13%). White has been the top automotive colour worldwide since 2011.
This year, silver dropped out of the top three colours in the world and its 10% popularity represents the lowest level the colour has had in more than a decade. The survey also showed that grey is gaining popularity in all regions of the world. However, these top four colours – white, black, grey, silver – continue to dominate the automobile population, representing 80% of market share globally.
“We are pleased to release the 2019 Global Automotive Color Popularity Report,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Product Manager for Colour. “After more than 65 years of studying consumer preferences on automotive colours, we are truly the world leader in identifying trends and helping our customers deliver great cars in the best assortment of the most popular colours.”
Regionally, automotive colour preference has changed little in the past year, with only one significant change. White declined by 1% in Europe and grey increased by 2%, which gave grey the top spot in Europe for the first time ever.
Elke Dirks, Axalta Colour Designer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says, “After the demand for grey rose in the SUV sector last year in Europe, we saw 5% growth this year in the Compact/Sport sector. For the first time in Europe, the variety of natural to refined and sophisticated grey surpassed white as the long-time favourite. Europeans have expressed their desire to use grey to quieten the emotional noise in their lives and feel comforted by its presence.”
Elsewhere, white continues to lead the market, with Asia recording a 1% increase in its popularity and it having the widest popularity at 49%. Annie You, Axalta Colour Designer for China, says, “China buyer-preferences favour modern, sophisticated and clean, making white an obvious choice.”
North and South America continue to position white as the top colour, but also have seen an increasing interest in grey vehicles.
Lockhart continues, “While the top four neutral colours – white, black, grey and silver – continue to lead preferences globally, we are starting to see other colours make moves in popularity that might not have been thinkable in past years. For sure, the consumer is truly beginning to change the way they view their vehicle’s colour, and Axalta is prepared to partner with our automotive customers to meet those needs.”
Various shades, from greenish-blues inspired by the ocean to navy blue, icy blue and denim blue, are also being found worldwide. Globally, red is most popular in North America at 9%, and brown/beige versions reign in Russia at 12% popularity. Colour is impactful in consumer choices and product branding, and Axalta is committed to enhancing coatings with colour science and technologies for future vehicles.
“Colourful shades on vehicles are quickly noticed on today’s roads as blue, red and brown/beige are showcased in spectacular hues,” concluded Lockhart. “Blue is most popular in North America and Europe with 10% of vehicles. So, finding a blue to meet your personal taste is no problem.”
Axalta’s full Automotive Color Popularity Report can be accessed here.
Regional highlights from the 2019 report include:
- Africa – Light colours such as silver and white remain high at 58% combined.
- Asia – Pearl white colours are most popular in this region and continue to gain status.
- Europe – Grey is the most popular colour, surpassing white, the long-time favourite.
- North America – Blue is up 2%, totalling 10% of vehicles.
- Russia – 12% are warm shades of beige/brown, more than any other region.
- South America – The only region where silver increased, changing 1%.
First published in 1953, Axalta’s annual Global Automotive Color Popularity Report is the automotive industry’s longest running and most comprehensive colour account. Together with Axalta’s Color Trend Report, the history and future of automotive colour is compiled by Axalta’s global colour experts. The report gives automotive OEMs captivating insights into consumer preferences aiding them in making informed decisions about auto colours.
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