Silver, white and red were the most popular North American vehicle colors for the 2001 model year, according to coating supplier PPG Industries, which surveyed 22 car makers around the world.

Silver has significantly increased in popularity over the last few years, displacing green, while white and red -- and blue in Europe -- continued to be popular.

Silver was most popular in North America with 19 percent of the market, while white and red decreased slightly to 16 and 15 percent, respectively, compared to the 2000 model year.

Champagne, gold and lighter shades of brown and orange remained constant at 14 percent, followed by black and blue at 11 percent each, green at 10 percent and specialty colors at four percent.

Although silver was the color of choice with more than 20 percent market share in three segments -- mid-size, sport/compact cars and sport utility vehicles/vans -- natural colors led the luxury segment with 22 percent and red was the top choice in 2001 for the truck segment with 22 percent.

Color experts predict that silver has the greatest potential for growth with refined and brighter silver shades, influenced by expanding capabilities in technology and updated industrial designs, dominating consumer choices. New car colors include shades such as light ice blue, medium teal, burgundy reds, wood-toned and orange browns and yellow shades of green. In addition, future colors will be more sophisticated and chromatic due to new effect pigments, which add sparkle and provide cleaner colors.

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