Axalta Publishes Automotive Color Preferences Report

May 26, 2021

Axalta, a supplier of liquid and powder coatings, recently released its Automotive Color Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey aimed at analyzing the relationship between color and vehicle purchasing decisions among consumers. More than 4,000 participants aged 25 to 60 in four of the largest vehicle-producing countries, China, Germany, Mexico and the U.S., responded that color was a key factor in 88% of vehicle purchasing decisions.

“The psychology of color is a powerful influencing factor in automotive purchasing decisions. Frequently, color reflects the personality of the vehicle owner,” said Nancy Lockhart, Global Color Manager, Mobility Coatings at Axalta. “What’s interesting is that elegance, stability and positivity were predominant color characteristics desired by respondents surveyed.”

The survey analyzed the colors consumers wanted on their vehicles to understand potential future trends. While consumers may prefer or desire a variety of colors, individual preferences showed differences from country to country.

The survey also explored paint finish and paint effect preferences. High-gloss finishes were clearly preferred by all markets surveyed except for China. There, results showed a near-even split between high-gloss and matte finishes (48% high gloss vs. 52% matte). Paint effect preferences across the surveyed markets were not as similar as results for paint finish preferences. Solid effects were the top choice of respondents in the U.S. and China, whereas German respondents chose pearlescent and Mexico chose coarse metallic and pearlescent as their preferred paint effects.

“The development of unique and new colors that meet the needs of our customers’ brands and consumer preferences is a key factor in understanding market trends. It is exciting to see how bolder colors are becoming more and more popular in the minds of consumers. Reds and blues are clearly rising in preference. It’s possible we’ll see more colors on the road with brilliant effects in the not too distant future,” said Lockhart.

Color is an important factor when purchasing a vehicle for 79% of American respondents, the survey found; nearly half of all respondents (46%) state color is very or extremely important. Of those surveyed, 82% of respondents in the United States say vehicle color is an individual decision and 53% of households have more than one vehicle. Although black is an overall trend, truck owners are choosing more colorful versions of blue (No. 2) and red (No. 3). Blue reflects positivity and red represents a sense of adventure in the minds of survey respondents in the U.S.