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BASF releases global automotive colour trend report

Designers from BASF Automotive Coatings have announced the results of its latest automotive colour trend report. In the report, BASF colour experts from North America, South America, Europe and Asia provide a forecast of the automotive colours of the future.

Results from this year’s report show future colours will be naturally cultivated with nuanced berry and copper tones, along with natural colours such as brown, blue and green.

“Although popular staple colours such as silver, black and white make up approximately 50 to 80 per cent of current production, there is a rich diversity of potential shades that is returning to the market,” said Paul Czornij, technical manager for the BASF Colour Excellence group.

“The increasing inclination of society to celebrate beauty in earth tones and more traditional green and blue hues is the basis for this trend.”

In recent years, the colour green has not played much a role on the roads, yet in four to five years, the colour is predicted to become more popular. Similarly, white, silver, and grey will gradually wane in popularity at the expense of more saturated colours like blues and browns.

“There are signs from automakers and consumers that the desire for more colour on the roads is continuing. We will be tapping into further colour spaces, such as bronzes and emeralds,” says Mark Gutjahr, head of design for BASF in Europe. “The continued high value assigned to the notion of ecology may now again be signified by the colour green.”

New diversity

The topic of sustainability continues to be on the radar, attracting attention to not only the environment, but also the everyday world. Finding novel ways to use materials, simplify lifestyles and have a closer focus on daily experiences are the main inspirations for this trend.

“The innovation that arises from this mindset nurtures a stronger awareness for things great and small, which in turn raises social responsibility”’ said Paul Czornij. “Colours are being developed that evoke this sense of purpose, stretching the aforementioned blue, green and browns into both strong and subtle tones.”

Materials that can be experienced

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 example, smart phones use a touch display instead of a keypad.

“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 connection to the world we live in. In the automotive world, this means that we can expect more intensive colours and bolder effects,’ said Corinna Sy, designer at BASF Coatings Europe. ‘The new colours are expressive, but not blatant, like a good story.”

With dark berries, intensive browns and coppers, along with radiant emeralds, BASF designers anticipate powerful colour experiences on the roads.

Global team – China

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 colour trends. In order to acknowledge the increasing significance of the Chinese automotive industry, and specifically the local manufacturers, the designers have included special colours, such as various shades of gold, in their trend collection.

The colours developed for China demonstrate the ability of BASF’s design team to utilize its colourant tools and paint technology to span the range of bold blues to elegant browns, golds and greys. This reflects to the local market and its evolution to more interest in colours as an expression of self. The vivid hues support these trends and are balanced with metallic effects that bring increased prominence to this growing segment.