According to PPG’s annual auto color popularity report, white is still the most preferred paint finish by car buyers. It has captured 35% more shoppers than any other colors, including blue, green and gold. The three most popular colors are black, silver, and grey. This makes it a common choice at almost any car dealer around the world.
To see the most popular colors for new cars, you only need to look at a parking lot or browse through a few online configurators. It’s not for those who love the whole spectrum of the rainbow. PPG’s annual global popularity report, which includes sales data for 2021, reflects what you can see in real life. Here’s an example
There are some good options, even though there isn’t much to be happy about. After a decline in popularity in the early aughts, two-tone is back. Although “interesting” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”, we will take some variety over the boring grays that dominate the modern car color palette. According to PPG’s report, the rise in two-tone finishes is a result of consumers’ desire for personalization. “Remarkable” advancements in color science and application technology have made these special treatments more accessible.
“It is fitting that two-tones finishes would return into favor during this period when we as society are looking back to the past,” stated Misty Yeomans (PPG color styling manager, automotive OEM Americas). Two-tone finishes are more in line with vehicle owners’ personal preferences and personalities, along with tinted clearcoats, matte finishes and tri-coats.
The popularity of blue seems to be steady, although many blues today lean heavily towards slate. This means that they are more gray-colored than blue, but it’s still better than nothing. We fear that green may be making a comeback as many models that were available in green in recent years have dropped that option.
North America is more colorful than most of the rest of the globe, which is a pleasant surprise. Except for “natural” colors, such as browns, beige, and golds, all other colors are exempt. The North Americans are more inclined to choose colorful finishes than those in South America, Asia, or Europe where white is a larger part of the market. The obvious trends are not to be ignored, however. Although black seems to be losing popularity, gray and white are still on the rise.
Sport and compact cars are still optioned with real colors more often than other vehicles and trucks, despite being in different segments. These colors make up a larger percentage of the market than other categories, with orange, blue, and red being the most popular. Blue is still a favorite color for American midsize sedan owners, while brown seems to be gaining popularity with sports car buyers. It seems like we only need a McLaren manual station wagon. Product planners, get on board.