When It Comes To Cars: Color Is Everything.

Posted by: David Kiley on November 29, 2006

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I didn’t used to think too much about paint color with cars. But it’s been on my mind more these days. Perhaps as vehicles get more expressive in their designs, colors matter more. Does that make sense? I mean…does anyone care if their 1999 Camry is silver or Champagne?

Volkswagen produces the best blues. Hand down. I saw a Dodge Charger, which I like, in Gray, and hated it. The Ford Edge I just drove looked great in this deep copper color.

Into my mailbox today came the DuPont car color report. The findings: Silver (BOOOORRRRING) is the top color globally. Silver has been the top choice since 2000 when it overtook…..Green?

According to DuPont, the bottom half of the top ten colors forecasts future color leaders. A clear trend for the future, says the chemical giant, includes warmer tones such as red as well as the continued strength of blue. That makes sense to me. If you have a hot design in your driveway, I’d rather see it with an expressive color than silver or Champagne.

Red surfaced as the top color choice in the compact vehicle segment in South Korea, with 22 percent, as well as in the North American market compact/sport category, from 9 percent in 2005 to 15 percent in 2006. Black remains a top choice across the global landscape. It is among the top five colors in the regions examined and has gained ground in specific segments in North America. The 2006 color popularity report sees growth of black in the North American luxury segment with 22 percent, mirroring
black’s longstanding first place among European luxury vehicles with 37 percent.

Its amazing how bad some cars look in certain colors. Remember the Chrysler LH cars that preceded the 300c. The Chrysler Concorde in Champagne was one of the nastiest pieces of work to come down the pike in a while. The Ticonderoga pencil yellow Pontiac Aztek? Ouch! That looked worse than I do in horizontal stripes.

This seems pretty self serving for DuPont. But the company says that 40 percent of consumers willing to switch brands for a specific color, according to a national poll it commissioned. Would you?

For comments, how about some candidates for the worst design/color combo you can recall.

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