• Oct 2nd 2009 at 10:00AM
  • 30
Silver just won't give up its nine-year choke hold as the most popular color choice for cars and trucks, both in the United States and abroad. In fact, the silver and gray category actually picked up an additional five percent on the rest of the field with a market share of roughly 25 percent in 2009.

Moving on down the list shows that Americans are also fond of white (18 percent market share), black (16 percent) and red (12 percent). All told, all other colors combined add up to less than one third of all vehicles sold in America. Silver also took the top spot in both Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Why are gray shades so popular with new car buyers? According to Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager of color styling and automotive coatings:
What helps drive silver's popularity are all of the innovative effects that really make silver shine... much more than just a simple gray. Silver tones work well with today's tinted metallic textural looks. The diversity of silver, from subtle hue shifts to dimensional metallic flake appearances, works with a variety of vehicle styles.
Want to know more? Click past the break for the press release from PPG. Thanks for the tip, Leslie!

[Source: PPG]


Silver still entrenched as world's favorite vehicle color, according to PPG data

Company introduces 70 new shades at annual Automotive Color Trend Show

TROY, Mich., Oct. 1, 2009 – For the ninth consecutive year, the silver category, which includes charcoal and gray shades, has ranked as the most popular vehicle color in the world according to data from PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), the world's leading manufacturer of transportation coatings.

In North America, silver and charcoal saw a strong increase in popularity from 20 percent in 2008 to 25 percent this year. White was second (18 percent), black was third (16 percent) and red was fourth (12 percent). These four color categories comprise well over two-thirds of all vehicles sold in North America. Just 15 years ago, the most popular color on vehicles in North America was green with 21 percent, while silver had only 8 percent in 1994.

"What helps drive silver's popularity are all of the innovative effects that really make silver shine ... much more than just a simple gray," said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive coatings. "Silver tones work well with today's tinted metallic textural looks. The diversity of silver, from subtle hue shifts to dimensional metallic flake appearances, works with a variety of vehicle styles."

In Europe, silver and charcoal (35 percent) were followed by black (22 percent), blue and white (13 percent each), red (9 percent), naturals (5 percent), green (2 percent) and other/niche colors (1 percent).

In the Asia/Pacific region, silver and charcoal (34 percent) were followed by black (21 percent), white (17 percent), blue (9 percent), red (7 percent), naturals (6 percent), other/niche colors (4 percent) and green (2 percent).

"Clearly, the automotive industry is moving toward more color choices," Harrington said. "Palettes are broadening as the number of models decreases and the industry consolidates. Going forward, automotive manufacturers are going to be relying on color more and more to distinguish their brands."

At this year's annual Automotive Color Trend Show held at PPG's offices here, the coatings company presented its ideas for future vehicle colors. Titled "3D Color" – representing "Design," "Dimension" and "Differentiator" – the show included a collection of interior and exterior colors developed globally and inspired by fashion, interior design, industrial design, culture, commercial construction and nature. PPG presented automotive designers with 60 new exterior shades and 10 new interior shades for consideration in their designs of the 2012-2013 model years. The new shades were grouped in four themes based on vehicle type: "Dimension" for compact vehicles; "Perspective" for mid-size vehicles; "Surface" for hybrid vehicles; and "Depth" for luxury automobiles.

PPG introduced automotive manufacturers to new colors such as Champagne Silver, a tinted silver with a slight warm copper beige cast; Outer Space Blue, a deep, dark blue with a slight sparkle effect; Haute Couture, a black base coat with a high sparkle blue mid-coat that gives it an appearance inspired by a black designer evening gown with blue sequins; Quantum Rose, an interior color close to a neon red; and Hulk, a color developed in Australia that is bright green, just like its namesake.

In addition to the new exterior and interior colors, PPG added a computer-generated imaging demonstration to the show. This provides automotive designers with the ability to see some of the new colors as they might appear on new model vehicles.

In addition to color trend forecasting, PPG is continuing to develop new paint technologies that offer automotive design options to enhance appearance and help manufacturers differentiate their brands.

One of the paint systems that PPG previewed at the show is a next generation of glass flake coatings. These are paints that include very smooth glass flakes coated with various metal-oxide layers. "Because of the coating's narrow particle distribution and very smooth surface, this product shows extreme sparkle and brightness," said Jerry R. Koenigsmark, PPG manager of color design, North America automotive coatings. Koenigsmark said that the company hopes to make these coatings available commercially in the next two to three years.

PPG also highlighted its Chaos Sky White mica coatings. These are new shades of white based on synthetic micas coated with titanium dioxide (white pigment).

Additionally, PPG spotlighted its new inorganic infrared-reflective pigments. These coatings have a very high solar reflectivity that helps to keep the vehicle cooler, reduce air conditioning use, and reduce fuel consumption.

On the forefront of innovation in decorative and protective coatings and environmental application concerns since 1924, PPG helps automakers advance coatings technologies and application processes.

About PPG
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      just my 2 cents... silver is a boring bland color to me... if everyone else has a silver car "beacuse it hides dirt well" than people are pretty much spot on about us Americans being lazy.

      I also don't like it beacuse it blends into the road easier... I own a blue 02 S10, and Yellow 08 Z06... I honestly don't think color is going to help you get away from the eye of a cop though. What's funny is even being blue my S10 goes mostly un noticed by the cops... but ive been pulled over for speeding in both.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Heh, my car is orange. :P
        • 5 Years Ago
        As is mine. It's an '05 but I still get many complements on it. Parked under a street light at night the car just glows. I love it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a silver car and I hate silver. The body shop at the dealership I worked at also said silver is hardest paint to match.

      Going ROGUE!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I feel you 100%! I wish my silver Miata was really dark grey. =(

        But they did not offer that color in the MazdaSpeed version.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Especially pearl colors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        We have a silver family mover and I WILL NEVER BUY a silver car again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was told white was the hardest to match because it's hard to get the same white on the metal panels and plastic bumpers to match.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did anyone watch Ultimate Factories last night with the Lamborghini factory?

      After watching the Lamborghini paint process I would be terrified to drive a Lamborghini anywhere for fear it get scratched. They showed that one man had to paint the entire outside or so on completely due to different painting styles or the paint would not look flawless.

      A few years ago my buddy's Bentley got keyed and he thought they could just fix that area and they said no, they had to repaint the car. $20,000. I almost fainted.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Silver is so popular, it looks bland. Because of that, I think fancy cars look much less fancy if they come in silver. If you can, get a nice blue for your fancy car, since that doesn't seem to be as popular as black, silver or red, the "specialness" of your car will be augmented by it. Anyways, just an opinion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think there are so many Silver and White cars is because the dealers order them that way since they are the most neutral and it will not be a deal-breaker since people can have polarizing opinions on unique colors. I doubt if many people custom order their cars anymore and are therefore stuck with the selection of what the dealer has on the lot. An interesting piece of research would be to review the factory orders that people make and the color breakdown. BTW, I hate the BMW silver as well, I custom ordered one once to get a bright blue and most recently was lucky enough to find one on the dealer's lot which also was also unique blue.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My preference for color has always been white. It is so easy to make a white car look great. in any season. However my current car is a cardinal red Ford mustang and it is the biggest cop magnet on earth. An officer friend of mine looked up my plates once and told me that my car had been looked up 19 times in a month. Which he seemed to think was hilarious.

      In reference to the Nissan, Every time I see a picture of that car , I feel absolutely nothing for it , especially in silver it seems so bland and meh. However every time I see one driving on the road , hear the wail of that beautiful V6. Pass one at a dealership it stirs every automotive sense that I have, as much as if I were seeing a Classic Ferrari or vintage muscle car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've never liked white cars.

        Doubly so in the wintertime.

        Give me a nice red, blue, orange, yellow, anything other than a color that you'd normally see as part of the road (grey, black, white).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah the down side of driving a car like that is that you're almost guaranteed to attract entirely the wrong kind of attention. Same thing goes for cars that the cops associate with younger male drivers. Driving a Civic Si or Subaru WRX gets you a lot more attention than driving a Legacy or Accord.
        I think as far as stereotyping goes you probably get the least attention when driving a silver camry that looks well-kept, or maybe even a Buick. Of course you don't want to go too far with trying to make people think you're old and boring because then they might stop you in case you're senile or something ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's because everybody who buys a BMW buys it in Silver. Sometimes I think that's the only color they come in. I'm not bashing, just noticing (I like BMW).
        • 5 Years Ago
        BMW makes other colours! like that dark blue and... .. yeah... why are so many silver?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jet Black is a classy color, but the gloss paint makes it very difficult to hide scratches.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is silver really a color? Ditto for black, white and grey.

      I get really pissed off when I go to (say) the Porsche dealer and they have eight cars out front in the following colors: black, silver, a different silver, white, black, grey, a different grey, guards red.

      Well at least they had one in color.

      Please take me back to the 70s when Porsche really had colors: lime green, bright blue, orange, yellow, red....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Purple! Very bold - good on you. Given that you drive a Polo and that it's purple, I'd venture to say you are not in the USA. Here in the states, the color palettes of euro automakers are far more restrained that what I've seen in Europe.

        Picking a car model at random, the VW CC Luxury, here is the entire choice of colors on the VW USA web site:

        moca brown metallic
        shadow blue metallic (very dark)
        deep black
        island grey metallic
        light brown metallic
        iron grey metallic
        reflex silver metallic
        white gold metallic
        candy white

        Is that pathetic or what? No reds. No greens. Only one blue, and it is pretty dark. In fact, the one blue color is the only "color" that I would actually consider a color.


        • 5 Years Ago
        Apparently we are in violent agreement. My Boxster is Guards red with black interior and my S4 is Sprint Blue. I know about Tequiment paint-to-order option, which is great. I was just speaking to the "standard" colors that you find in the brochure and what the dealers choose to order and put on their lot. Porsche isn't the worst offender -- also look at VW, Audi, BMW. They all have lousy color selections. I guess as long as 80% of the car buyers are happy with white/black/grey/silver, that's what they'll keep making. Sorry for ranting, but it's a pet peeve of mine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Porsche does have colors.

        Mexico Blue, Cobalt Blue, Gaurds Red, a bright green, yellow... and at least if you are willing to pay for it, you can order a Porsche painted any color you want... Techquipment, or some other name for their custom-order process.

        But aside from that... I agree.

        When I bought my car, they had cut the rich dark blue, AND the dark red from the lineup, and limited each remaining paint color to a specific interior color, no choice, and most being taupe/tan, not black.

        They had one pale blue, white, light and dark silver, and black. THAT WAS IT. So I bought used, where I could still get RED with a black interior and a stick shift. I would have otherwise also loved that cancelled dark blue...

        But when companies cut colors, and offer few options... what do they think will happen?

        I like silver, as a grayscale HUE... (white, all greys, silvers, and black are grayscale hues, not *truly* unique colors. They are a combination of all the other colors, and vary in luminance and reflectivity. White is ALL colors, at full luminance. Mirror finish is full reflectivity.)

        But, Silver is so OVERUSED on cars, that I prefer something less ubiquitous, and something a bit more unique an striking.

        A very well designed car that you want to see every detail of, silver works very well. White can, too, but I find it a little 'blank', and unfinished, unless it is a pearl coat, or something.

        A very bland or ugly car can look better in black, where most of the details are very well hidden.

        But a normal car, something that is dignified, but not flashy... looks a bit too pedestrian in silver. A bit too appliance like. White also applies there. Black always looks dignified, like a tuxedo, it is hard to go wrong.

        But on such a car, a good hue of blue, or darker-toned red (bright red if sporty...) take a modest design and bump up the visual impact. A good green can make such a car look classy, while being something other than black.

        Yellow is hard to pull off on the wrong car for it. Orange doesn't look too bad, but it is a bit of a fashion statement, and can go out of style, as can purple. Brown tends to come and go, but I can't say I ever like it.

        I can't understand why any car doesn't have both at least one nice blue and red paint color choice. medium to dark work best, but even a lighter blue is do-able. Those should be de-facto options on everything, along with the white, grey, silver, and black, and then add the less base-line colors like yellow or orange if the car suits it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not as bad as South Korea (http://www.autoblog.com/gallery/dupont-2008-automotive-color-popularity-report#10). How boring.

      Personally I won't own a white car as it says "work car" in Australia, especially if it is a station wagon. Every man and his dog has silver/grey and black needs a wash every second day.

      My current car is a bright blue Ford Falcon XR6T... makes people get out of the way on the road because they think I'm a cop lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMHO, people who drive silver cars lack imagantion and are boring. what happened to blue and red and green cars? who would want a car that is basically sheet metal w/ gilter?

      this nicely sums up how i feel about silver cars...

      • 5 Years Ago
      Brightly colored cars attract too much attention. I don't think a cop has ever looked at my silver sedan... even though it will do 13 flat.
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