• Dec 1st 2009 at 2:57PM
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DuPont has released its annual Color Popularity Report, and for the first time has converged data from across the globe to create a worldwide report on how we, as a species, prefer our cars to be colored. OK, maybe that's a bit hyperbolic, but the new worldwide report confirms that Black, Silver and White reign supreme regardless of borders. The three colors are tightly packed in North America, where White is most popular at 17.8 percent with Black (17 percent) and Silver (16.8 percent) not far behind. Europeans, however, like the sleek look of Black at 27 percent compared to Silver at 19.9 percent and White falling pretty far behind at 10.2 percent. Different regions like different colors, but these three remain at or near the top across the board.

Who knows why car buyers the world over seem averse to all the colors of the rainbow. Not us. While we dig a nice metallic Silver, other colors like Red, Blue and even shades of Green have a way of teasing out a car's personality better than the grayscale stuff. If you were shopping for a new car (or are), what colors are at the top of your list? We've included a poll below to see if our audience thinks anything like a DuPont customer.

What's Your Favorite Car Color?
Black 4719 (27.9%)
Blue 2703 (16.0%)
Brown/Beige 228 (1.3%)
Gray 1466 (8.7%)
Green 716 (4.2%)
Red 1766 (10.4%)
Silver 1949 (11.5%)
White 2579 (15.2%)
Yellow/Gold 410 (2.4%)
Other 381 (2.3%)

[Source: DuPont]


DuPont Announces World's Most Popular Car Colors
Silver Gleams in First-Ever DuPont Global Color Rankings for 2009

WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 1, 2009 – DuPont announced that silver, black and white are the top colors in the first-ever ranking of worldwide vehicle color popularity. Now in its 57th year, the annual DuPont Global Automotive Color Popularity Report is the original and most authoritative source for automotive color popularity information and trends with detailed breakdowns for the top automotive markets as well as this year's newly announced top global colors.

Top Ten Global Vehicle Colors:
1. Silver – 25 percent
2. Black – 23 percent
3. White – 16 percent
4. Gray – 13 percent
5. Blue – 9 percent
6. Red – 8 percent
7. Brown/Beige – 4 percent
8. Green – 1 percent
9. Yellow/Gold – 1 percent
10. Others – <1 percent

"By gathering and analyzing color popularity data around the globe, DuPont is able to better identify trends and help our customers in the automotive industry develop color palettes for the future," said Nancy Lockhart, color marketing manager for DuPont OEM Performance Coatings. "The auto industry is an increasingly global business, so regional and global color data are vitally important to designers."

Although the results suggest an ongoing convergence of color choice globally with color preferences becoming more homogeneous across regions, distinct regional differences remain. The top three colors – black, white and silver – continue to show strongly around the globe with growth of these colors across regions.

"It's important to recognize that most people today, no matter where they live in the world, have access to cutting-edge information about popular colors from many sources like glossy magazines and fashionable websites and often will see the same widely distributed films," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director, Pantone Color Institute and author of the blog Eisemancolorblog.com. "The top colors become 'aspirational' with a universal appeal."

Changes Across Markets
"There are still distinct regional differences in preference, but global trends are unmistakable," said Lockhart. "Color preference can change from year to year because of a variety of factors including types of vehicles introduced, reduced vehicle size, consumer tastes and even the economy. These and other cultural, societal and demographic influences can shift regional trends over time."

In North America, white (17.8 percent) remains the top color choice with black (17 percent) and silver (16.7 percent) in second and third place. However, examining black's popularity over time shows it is rising – up six percentage points from 2005 – while silver and white have dropped in popularity by about two points over the past five years. Chroma colors blue and red remain solidly popular in the North American market, rising from 11 percent in 2006 to approximately 12 percent this year.

In Europe, the top color black (27 percent) continues to gain popularity over silver (19.9 percent), which is continuing to decline. White is growing in popularity but remains a second tier color with 10.2 percent of the market.

Japan saw a wide swing of color popularity for the year, ultimately aligning more with the North American and European markets. White remained the top color choice at 28 percent, dropping 4 points from 2008. Silver dropped five points to 23 percent, tied with black.

In contrast, the Chinese vehicle market experiences fluctuations in color preference. Silver rose four points to 36 percent for the year to remain the top color, with black dropping eight points to 23 percent as the second most popular color. As this market continues to grow there will likely be less variation year to year.

The market in India shows strong preference for silver (26.4 percent), white (23.4 percent), red (16.1 percent) and blue (10.9 percent) with the remaining colors each garnering 6 percent or less of the market. Of interest, the Russian market looks similar to India with strong chroma colors mixed throughout the rankings, most noticeably in the green area. In the Russian rankings, silver was first (23.4 percent), followed by green (18.2 percent), black (16.7 percent), blue (15.5 percent) and red (10.8 percent).

The DuPont Global Automotive Color Popularity Report remains the authoritative ranking of color preferences and is the industry's only report to include detailed information on the automotive markets in a variety of countries and regions, including: North America, Europe, Russia, South America, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, China and India.

Automotive Color Trends

"In the automotive market, it is essential to forecast trends at least three years ahead of the target model year, due to the length of time it takes to develop, source and manufacture a vehicle," said Lockhart. "As a partner with our automotive customers, DuPont develops a yearly color trends show that highlights new vehicle colors and technology advancements for the industry."

The 2009 trend show, "Contrast of Color," is focused on global interests in automotive coatings, using contrasting ideas to merge a complete and fresh approach to long-lasting color preferences. With the use of pigments and hue-shifting elements, traditional colors have been freshened to provide a sense of uniqueness and personality to consumers' vehicles.

"There are many reasons to buy a new car, yet we know color is often the 'driver' for purchasing a vehicle," said Eiseman. "Consumers have gotten very savvy about how and where to look for color trends and they do look for guidance on "what's new (and newsworthy) in color."

The color trend show uses opposite themes that evolve into one color palette of diverse, simple, complex, and upbeat color trends. The themes are defined as: "Traditional Avant-Gardist," "Normal Maniac," "High-Tech Ecologist" and "Global Patriot."

The "Traditional Avant-Gardist" category exploits colors as classic and modern. These classic colors have a twist of elegance and prestige while maintaining their long-lasting appreciation. These colors – Water Desert (blue), Wooden Nickel (medium dark gray) and Winter Lavender (purple) – are expressions of historical colors remembered by generations that have been updated to fit the future trends.

The "Normal Maniac" category shows that colors can be quite simple and frankly, wild. These colors are bright and chromatic – Simple Chaos (blue), Serious Fun (green) and Running Start (yellow). Small cars, limited editions, and aftermarket usage may showcase the confidence of this palette.

The "High-Tech Ecologist" palette features natural colors with modern characteristics. As fuel-efficient vehicles are integrated into the new vehicle market, the branding of new color spaces will evolve. This soft, yet rustic, palette will have enduring appeal for consumers – Light Intensity (orange), Frozen Wave (light blue) and Microcosm (dark blue).

The "Global Patriot" category responds to the growth in global markets. Although each region has its own preferences, general color trends are shared worldwide. This global palette will relate the worldwide trend to consumer's local demands. These familiar colors of silver, black, white, gray, blue, red and beige are updated to exhibit extensive popularity in today's mature market in Authentic Replica (dark red), Crystal Crème (beige) and Dark Diamond (silver).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      When they say Grey, do they mean metalic or non metalic?
      so hard to find good non-metalic colors on cars these days.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My Caddy CTS-V has White Diamond Tricoat....which is Metallic....it reflects day or night and looks great.

        I had Lemans Blue Metallic on the Vette...and every little swirl or scratch showed....the car never looked clean no matter how much polish and wax I put on it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Truth. Seems like white and black are the only colors you can get that aren't metallic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought it was common knowledge that blue is the fastest color...
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Soccer Mom - that's a pretty lame argument. Black looks good on some cars - it can show the lines well, etc. Writing that they haven't grown up is tacky. And yes I have a black car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It really depends on the car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        that was my first thought exactly

        ....i've had many colors from a late model pearl white T-bird, a baby blue Olds 88 conv. with a matching blue top and interior, a black Bonneville conv. and a red Camaro. A blue Focus, a white EXP, and white mid 90's Cougar, a teal green Mercury Capri conv.

        for me some body styles look best in one color...others in a different color.

        I think 50% of all Pintos must have been blue, except for the Pinto wagons which were often green., nearly all Vegas seemed to be green.

        some place I read that the best re-sale price for any car is with the color it's advertised in.

        when you walk onto the car lot ready to buy, there will be "that one" calling out to you in her siren voice, take me...take me...you want me...

        currently "she' is sunlight silver.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dude, when I walk on to a car lot ready to buy, that means I'm ready to special order! I want my car(s) to be built just for me, exactly as I want them! FWIW I am currently fixated on silver with a red leather interior...hot, hot, hot. But of course that applies to Porsches, BMWs, Audis and the like... I don't think it applies to Fjord and Gee'M exactly, and I ernestly hope you'll never catch me in a Camry of any colour.......
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd buy a green car if anyone offered any decent cars in green. And in any decent SHADES of green. For now I will stick with blue so I don't drive a McGrayscale car like the rest of you boring people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Once you go black you never go back. Enough said. White is alright.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Silver is really just a light metallic gray, so really gray is the top pick worldwide. Not really surprising since metallic grays of all shades hide dirt the best.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I am inclined to disagree. Aside from presidential vehicles and some black MBs, black seems to be the color of choice of those who never grew up or in the process of growing up. The person who drives that car thinks that he/she projects a sinister image, like a rap star or Mad Max (depending on who your hero is), everyone around think that there is a 18 year-old driving his first car, desperately trying to look cool.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol, had a few black cars, past that. blacks like red, it only really looks exceptional on certain body styles. mostly blue and grey cars now for me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Once you own black (for 3 years or so), you will never want black again!
        hot cabin, not as easily seen at night, fine line of scratches become visible, extremely noticable with dirt/salt!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cars or Presidents?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If we're talking about well taken care of cars, I say white. White is pretty much the color is clean. I prefer it.
        Now ofcourse, if it's an ugly car, white looks... Old. But so does any color. But brand new, pristine vehicles (i.e. Porsche 911's) white, is the ultimate color.

        @Soccer Mom
        The kind of car you're talking about isn't solely a black car. It's a black car, with limo window tint and black wheels. Now THAT is (arguably) the color of someone who "needs to grow up."
        • 5 Years Ago
        My car is black and it looks sexy as all get out when it's clean. I'm actually happy to be able to see the dirt because then I know it's dirty. If it's hidden, well, that ain't good for the paint.

        Anyway, I love how it looks in black, night or day. And I'm in Boston, so IF the sun is shining that just means the car is warm and toasty inside.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even white depends. On some cars, white just makes your car look like a rental car, and thus, stupid. On some cars, white looks amazing.

        Normally I prefer black. Unfortunately, not many have the know how (or time) to take care of black properly, so then they go off telling everyone how much black sucks and no one should ever get. That makes me sad.

        My current car is a dark metallic grey ("flint mica" as they call it).
        • 5 Years Ago
        White is not alright. Almost every while car on the road looks worse than the colored equivalentl, dirt shows up easy, they are snow camouflaged, they look boring, and worst of all if you drive a sedan you end up causing people to slow down whenever you come around a corner or something because white sedan out of the corner of the eye sends an instant "Crap police slow down!" reaction from people(and god help the people who drive white impallas or crown vics, why would you buy a police car model in POLICE COLORS!).

        Black looks good but then scratches show up easily, it gets how, and dirt shows up just as badly. All in all if I had to pick a bland color silver is a much better one than white.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't like dark cars because it doesn't show off the lines. Then again, if I owned a GT-R...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I do agree; black is the nicest color when the car is clean. Now, if it was clean for more than 5 minutes...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm sorry but I have TWO black vehicles and I know how to handle it properly, but unless you live in a place that never snows, rains, or too sunny (Practically does not exist) then a black car is not optimal. Scratches show up easily (That's the nature of the color), gets really hot when it's sunny out (Can't change that), gets really dirty when it rains or snows (Want to wash your car every day?). It doesn't matter how much you know how to take care of your car, the black color is only nice when it's clean... which is never.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yet my favorites are all orange:

      GT3 RS
      Murcielago LP670-4 SV
      M3 GTS
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ugh... that poll doesn't bode well. Oh well, my car needs respraying... Orange would look quite nice on a Jetta III.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just my opinion, but for me, there's no true answer in this poll. Some cars are available in different shades of the same colour, and as such, look vastly different. Some cars just seem to 'suit' a certain colour better than others. For example (and these are my opinions - I don't expect anyone/everyone to agree with them): I think the Sunburst Orange colour looked great on the Chevy HHR; I would absolutely NOT want that colour on my Fusion. KnowhatImean?
      • 5 Years Ago
      If only scratches on the black would be so easy to see. Me like gray or red for that reason.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So 64.5% of Americans and 77% of the world's population prefer no color on their car whatsoever (silver, gray, white, or black). I'm unsure of how "gray" is classified, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a non-metallic color which only Audi offers. If you add what is actually silver and dark-silver ("gray"), you get nearly 30% of the US market which puts white in a distant second place with 17.8%. Globally it grabs a full 38% of buyers. Not surprising is that each automaker seems to offer 2-3 shades of silver on each vehicle, which often matches the total number of actual colors to select from (red, blue, green).
      • 5 Years Ago
      Couldn't agree more. Plus the "LeMans Sunset" on my 350Z looks stunning!
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