The 2003 model year marks the third consecutive year that silver ranked as the most popular vehicle color in North America, according to the annual global color popularity survey conducted by PPG Industries, manufacturer of transportation coatings.
Overall, silver topped all other colors among North American vehicles produced in the 2003 model year with 24 percent, up from 22 percent in 2002. Silver also led global color popularity with 29 percent for the 2003 model year.
In addition, silver, a member of the neutral color family, replaced natural tones such as champagne, gold, and lighter shades of brown and orange as the leading color in the luxury vehicle segment with 24 percent and matched the perennial favorite white as the most popular color in the truck segment at 21 percent.
“Silver will define the first decade of the new millennium,” said Lorene C. Boettcher, manager, Global Design and Color Marketing, automotive coatings for PPG. “The sophisticated and high-tech look of silver, its ability to accentuate a vehicle’s design and advances in coatings technologies that drive the creation of new interpretations of silver will help maintain its popularity for the next several years.”
According to Boettcher, in the 2007-2008 model year, silver will become more complex with blue and gold influences and will incorporate fine to coarse metallic flakes to add sparkle effects.
Research conducted by PPG reveals that for the 2003 model year, white and red were featured on 16 and 14 percent, respectively, of vehicles produced in North America, matching their popularity in the 2002 model year. Black increased in popularity to 13 percent from 10 percent, followed by the natural color family and blue, each with 11 percent, and green with 7 percent. Other niche and specialty colors held constant at 4 percent.
Global color trend data collected by PPG found white, at 19 percent, was the second most popular color worldwide in 2003. On a global level, black and blue finished at 13 and 11 percent, respectively. Red was featured on 10 percent of vehicles produced around the world, while green and naturals each appeared on 7 percent of the vehicles. Niche and specialty colors were at 4 percent.
New Colors for 2007-2008 Model Year
The PPG Global Design and Color Marketing Team – which consists of more than 20 colorists in North America, Japan, Europe, South America, India, Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and China – developed 152 new colors for automaker consideration for the 2007-2008 model year.
“In the coming years, North America can expect to see new vehicles in brilliant shades of denim blues, silver-shaded and blue-violet reds, moss greens and brighter and lighter shades of yellow and orange that reflect the optimism that we have toward the future,” Boettcher said.
PPG also predicts various effect technologies will add appeal to new colors on the North American color palette.
“The use of new effect pigments and various sizes of metallic and aluminum flakes will give colors a sense of visual texture and depth,” said Jerry R. Koenigsmark, manager of color design, North America, automotive coatings for PPG. “We also expect that hue-shifting colors -- which appear to change in hue when viewed at different angles -- will gain acceptance in subtle versions within the natural and neutral color families.”
Through involvement in design and color trend organizations throughout the world, by understanding the latest technology and by analyzing societal and lifestyle trends and regional influences, the Global Design and Color Marketing Team is able to provide automakers with cutting-edge color trend recommendations to help enhance the brand identity and image of their vehicles.
For more than 20 years, PPG has been tracking and presenting color creations and the latest technical information to automakers worldwide. This year, PPG surveyed approximately 22 automakers around the world to compile its color trend data. In addition to identifying automotive color trends, PPG also helps define trends for aerospace, aftermarket, architectural, general industry, glass and trade sale products.
About PPG Industries
Specializing in decorative and protective coatings and environmental application concerns since 1927, PPG helps automakers advance technologies and processes used in the application of automotive coatings.
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a manufacturer of transportation coatings and a global supplier of industrial and packaging coatings, and a North American producer of architectural coatings. In addition, PPG manufactures flat and fabricated glass, continuous-strand fiber glass and chemicals. Sales were $8.1 billion for 2002.