The year 2012 has finally seen classic black being replaced at the top of the most popular car color charts by white, a color which has stormed up the European rankings in recent years. Some 24 percent of new car buyers now opt for a white model. This is just one of the results of the latest automotive color trend report published by Standox. Each year the paints manufacturer analyses trends and developments in the field of car colors. Having topped the ranking for many years, black has lost two percentage points and dropped to second place. While grey and silver manage to hang on to third and fourth place, respectively, both colors have further lost in popularity. Quite clearly, all the top slots are once again dominated by neutrals.
Purist shades of white have surpassed timeless black this year. This is the first time in five years that black hasn’t featured at the top of the chart. “This development has been apparent for quite a while. Ever since white smartphones and computers have acquired a cult following, white has emerged as symbolising technological progress, ecological sustainability and minimalist aesthetics. Consequently this color now also enjoys strong demand in the vehicle market. As little as 15 years ago, white cars were considered virtually unmarketable. Today, white is once again the number one in the entire vehicle market – around the globe and across all segments,” says Armin Sauer, Color Coordinator Standox Deutschland. Thanks to the variety of different shades of white as well as the availability of special mother-of-pearl triple coat finishes, white has also become ever more popular in the executive car and SUV segments.
Chromatic colors (red, blue, green etc) remain the exception as buyers continue to show preference for neutrals (black, white, grey, sliver). However, competition for such established favourites as silver and grey, in particular, is emerging in the form of brown and beige. These two natural colors offer modern alternatives and their popularity reading has increased by one percent. The only chromatic color to secure a place in the top five is blue, closely followed by red.
Green, yellow and all other colors come in as distant also-rans. Says Armin Sauer: “Subdued colors are best at expressing a car’s inherent quality and ensure a high resale value, which is particularly important in these economically turbulent times. There has also been a renewed trend towards understatement. Nevertheless, what we see on our streets and roads is anything but dull and monochrome. Numerous special effects and iridescent finishes mean that today’s neutrals can turn heads as well.” Sauer adds that the few colorful dots in the landscape will become more exciting in future: “We will see more fancy and offbeat colors made possible by new technologies and innovative pigments. These complex finishes will pose a challenge for refinishers.”
For many years the Standox color experts based in Wuppertal, Germany have monitored not only the new colors created by the automotive industry but also a range of other key indicators for color trends in other areas including fashion, cosmetics and consumer goods. This approach ensures that Standox can respond swiftly to new trends and support its customers with the right colors and repair processes at all times.