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Study Says 56% of Vehicles are White, Black or Gray

Study Says 56% of Vehicles are White, Black or Gray

By Jeff Youngs, October 15, 2012
According to PPG Industries, which bills itself as "the world's leading manufacturer of transportation coatings," 56% of the vehicles sold in North America are painted white (21%), black (19%), or a shade of gray or silver (16%). Nevertheless, PPG is forecasting that the overall use of color is on the rise.

"Color is one of the first characteristics noticed in product design, and it is increasingly being used in everyday items, from cell phones to large appliances, based largely on automotive trends," said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive OEM coatings. "The palette being developed for the automotive segment continues to be influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, color popularity and new pigment technology."

At PPG's annual Automotive Color Trend Show, held in Troy, Mich., in September, the company presented 64 new colors to car designers working on new 2015 and 2016 models. Among them: Al Fresco (silver metallic with green tint); Victoria Grey (gray with iridescent gold metal highlights); Opulence (jewel-toned red pearl); Glacier (gray with a slight violet blue tone); Sunshine (high-sparkle yellow); and Elixir (silver and magenta).

"Our consumer research has clearly shown that color is critically important to car buyers," Harrington said. According to PPG, buyers of large luxury cars, large premium SUVs, and sports cars place the most importance on getting the right color for their new vehicle.

Following white, black and silver/gray in terms of popularity in North America, PPG says 10% of new 2012 vehicles are red, 8% are blue, 7% are a natural color, and 3% are green.