White, black, silver and gray remain top vehicle colors

Dec 14, 2012

The 2012 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report revealed that top vehicle colors in North America are white/white pearl, black, silver and gray.

The 60th annual DuPont report is the only identifier of global automotive color popularity rankings and regional trends from 11 leading automotive regions of the world, according to a press release from DuPont Performance Coatings.

Nancy Lockhart, DuPont color marketing manager, said that although the same shades have maintained popularity over last 10 years, the color spaces are constantly being innovated.

“Although there’s been a focus on these more neutral color spaces, they’ve gotten to be a lot more exciting than maybe something you might have seen on the road 20 years ago,” Lockhart said.

According to the report, white/white pearl, which has dominated the North American vehicle market for six consecutive years, is still the most popular vehicle color. This year it was the most prevalent in the compact/sport and truck/SUV segments.

“In the past, we had seen a lot of the vanilla shades that you may remember or the stone whites. Today the trend seems to be how to get the brightest whites,” Lockhart said.

Black/black was the top color in the intermediate/CUV and luxury SUV segments, and maintained second place in North American vehicle color popularity overall. Compared to metallic versions, solid blacks were most favored in the truck segments.

For the first time since 1988, silver wasn’t the most popular in any specific North American vehicle segment, which many be attributed to the increased influence of black and white as status symbols for luxury and quality. However, silver still held steady as the third most popular vehicle color, while gray came in fourth.

Red rounded out the top five color choices across each vehicle segment. Lockhart mentioned that red and silver are important colors in the sporty, hot rod vehicle segment. She predicts that red will be an increasingly important color in the North American market within the next five years.

Earlier this year, The Carlyle Group entered an agreement to purchase DuPont Performance Coatings for $4.9 billion, and the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. Besides a possible name change, Lockhart said that all of DuPont’s paint color offerings will remain the same after Carlyle Group’s acquisition of DuPont Performance Coatings.

“We’re looking forward to continuing on with all of our technology and new color offerings. And we will continue to do our color popularity report. Everything comes with us,” she said.