Silver is still the world's leading vehicle color, and in North America, rich shades of medium-dark metallic gray increased in popularity. Meanwhile, red and other high-chroma colors hint at major changes to come in the automotive color palette.
The findings are part of the latest DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report, an annual trend tracker for more than 50 years.
In the North American luxury segment, which often indicates future trends across all vehicle segments, medium-dark gray jumped from sixth place to the lead color choice and red surpassed blue in the popularity standings.
Gray jumped from sixth to third place in the sport/compact segment and has climbed four places to also become the third most popular color in the full-size/intermediate segment.
“Medium-dark grays, enhanced with coarser metallic effects, retain the technical sophistication of silver while providing a sense of richness and value,” says DuPont color manager Robert Daily.
Overall, medium-dark gray spread across North America in 2003, increasing nearly 4.5 percentage points. Although silver remains the top vehicle color of choice at 20.2%, it slipped slightly in North America overall standings.
Other study highlights:
- Medium-dark green, the former color leader of the 1990s, has dropped out of the top 10 colors for luxury vehicles, but still made moderate gains in the full/intermediate and the SUV/truck/van vehicle segments.
- Expressive colors such as bright blues, reds and even yellows indicate an increased sense of adventure among consumers and automotive stylists. Yellow has emerged as a top-10 color in the sport/compact segment. (See related story on page 44.)