White, black are most popular car colors worldwide in 2012
Annual auto-paint survey finds that white gained, while black and silver slipped in popularity.
Want to know the most popular car colors worldwide? The answer is pretty much black and white, or rather, white and black, according to the 2012 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report released today.
In its 60th year, the report is the largest and longest-running of its kind, and the only one that analyzes vehicle colors around the globe and ranks them in popularity in 11 leading regions.
In 2012, white was the top automotive paint color around the world for the second year in a row, and black passed silver to earn second place. This is “largely due to the increased popularity in the Asia-Pacific market, as [black] has a worldwide perception of high quality and luxury,” the report said. It added that silver slipped to third “as its popularity has waned due to its overall gradual decline, especially in the critical large automotive markets of Europe and Asia."
White was the top color in Europe, North America (U.S. and Canada), Japan, South Korea, Russia, South Africa and Mexico in 2012. Overall, white makes up 23 percent of the global market, according to the report. DuPont also noted that white has been popular across all vehicle segments over the past 10 years, although historically it’s been most popular among truck owners. The report also points out that advancements in pearlescent whites have allowed the color “to initially break into the luxury segments.”
While black ranked second globally, with 21 percent of the world’s share of automotive colors, it was the leading vehicle color in China. Silver was the top color in South America, Brazil and India but fell four percentage points to 18 percent of the overall global automotive market, to make it No. 3.
“Silver peaked during the start of the digital age between 2000 and 2006,” Nancy Lockhart, DuPont color marketing manager, said in a statement. “We’re seeing more luxury vehicle purchases now that the economy has started to stabilize, and vehicles painted black/black effect are seen as luxury status symbols in several key global markets.”
But it’s not all black and white (and silver). Red, gray and brown/beige each increased a percentage point since last year’s report, while blue maintained its market share. Here’s how all hues in the global automotive color spectrum stacked up this year.
According to the DuPont report, the top global vehicle colors are:
1. White/White Pearl – 23 percent
2. Black/Black Effect – 21 percent
3. Silver – 18 percent
4. Gray – 14 percent
5. Red – 8 percent
6. Blue – 6 percent
7. Brown/Beige – 6 percent
8. Green – 1 percent
9. Yellow/Gold – 1 percent
10. Others – 2 percent
In 2012, North American vehicle color was again dominated by white, with 24 percent market share, claiming the top spot for the sixth year in a row. It was the top choice in the truck/SUV segment. Black ranked first in popularity in the medium crossover and luxury segments, representing 19 percent of the overall market and securing second place in vehicle color popularity in North America. Solid blacks were preferred in the truck segment, while metallic blacks gained in all segments, particularly with luxury cars and SUVs.
In Europe, white beat out black as the most popular vehicle hue in 2012, with 24 percent of the overall European market. According to DuPont, black has been on the decline in popularity in Europe since peaking in 2009, slipping to second place overall with 23 percent of the market. But, as with Europeans’ color preference in clothes, black has held on to its top status in the luxury categories there.
White also outpaced silver to take to take the top spot in the Asia-Pacific region this year, with 22 percent market share in the region. Black and gray, at 21 and 20 percent respectively, also gained on silver, which dropped to fourth overall, with just 14 percent of market share. Red rounds out the top five colors in the region, with 7 percent of the overall market in 2012.
In Russia, white (18 percent), silver (15 percent) and black (14 percent) were one, two and three in color preferences. But DuPont reports that more vibrant colors such as red, which almost edged out black for third place with 13 percent of market share, are adding color to Russian roads. Blue was also close behind, at 12 percent, while green earned the highest ranking in the world in the Russian market, with 8 percent.
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