Car buyers see the world in black and white

But there has been a marginal uptick in the popularity of some brighter colours

Published: October 29, 2013, 10:00 AM
Updated: November 22, 2021, 4:06 PM

2013 BMW X5 - front 3/4 view low

It may seem like almost all new cars come only in silver but white and black continue to be the top two colour choices for new-vehicle buyers in North America, according to automotive paint supplier, PPG Industries.

While there has been a marginal uptick in the popularity of some brighter colours, almost three-quarters of all new vehicles finished with PPG paints during the 2013 model year featured neutral colors – white, black, grey or silver.

In North America, white remains most popular (21%)– that figure perhaps skewed by fleet sales – followed by black (19%), grey (17%), and silver (15%). Behind these come red, blue, natural hues and green.

While white continues to be the most dominant choice in car colour, we see growth in the variety of whites being offered to consumers," said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, colour styling, automotive OEM coatings.

"Car manufacturers are seeking ways to create variations of white, silver, black and grey that are specific to their brands and that complement different vehicle types. Distinct effects such as micas, glass flakes, fine bright aluminum and hue-shifting pigments help them achieve this."

Across North American vehicle types in 2013, PPG found that: sport models are most likely to feature shades of red and blue; the largest percentage of gold and beige vehicles is in the minivan segment; luxury vehicles are most likely to feature effect finishes in black metallic and white pearl; and colour varies most across sport utility vehicles (SUVs), with relatively equal distributions finished in shades of white, black, blue, red and grey.

Looking ahead, Harrington said drivers may see more blue in 2014 models. PPG’s data has shown increases in the popularity of blue for certain regions and vehicle types.