|DuPont recently announced that silver, black and white are the top colours in its first-ever ranking of global vehicle colour popularity.
“By gathering and analysing colour popularity around the globe, DuPont is able to better identify trends and help our customers in the automotive industry develop future colour palettes,” says Nancy Lockhart, DuPont colour marketing manager. “The auto industry is an increasingly global business, so regional and global colour data are vitally important to designers.”
Although the results suggest an ongoing convergence of colour choice globally, distinct regional differences remain.
“It’s important to recognise that most people today, no matter where they live in the world, have access to cutting-edge information about popular colours from many sources like magazines and websites and often they will see the same widely distributed films,” says Pantone colour institute director Leatrice Eiseman
Changes Across Markets
“There are still distinct regional differences in preference, but global trends are unmistakable,” said Lockhart. “Colour 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 colour 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 colours 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 colour 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 colour with 10.2 percent of the market.
Japan saw a wide swing of colour popularity for the year, ultimately aligning more with the North American and European markets. White remained the top colour choice at 28 percent, dropping four points from 2008. Silver dropped five points to 23 percent, tied with black.
In contrast, the Chinese vehicle market experiences fluctuations in colour preference. Silver rose four points to 36 percent for the year to remain the top colour, with black dropping eight points to 23 percent as the second most popular colour. 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 colours each garnering 6 percent or less of the market. Of interest, the Russian market looks similar to India with strong chroma colours 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).
“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 colour trends show that highlights new vehicle colours and technology advancements for the industry.”