Make us your home page
Instagram

Top vehicle color? White

An employee drives a C-MAX Hybrid off the line at a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Mich., earlier this month. White is the most popular vehicle color worldwide, followed by silver. 

Ford Motor Co.

An employee drives a C-MAX Hybrid off the line at a Ford assembly plant in Wayne, Mich., earlier this month. White is the most popular vehicle color worldwide, followed by silver. 

DETROIT — If you bought a new vehicle this year, chances are good it was white or silver.

Twenty-two percent of cars and trucks built for the 2012 model year have white paint, making it the most popular color worldwide. Silver is close behind at 20 percent, followed by black at 19 percent. Gray and red follow to round out the top five.

White is the most popular color for the second year in a row after overtaking silver in 2011. The annual rankings are compiled by automotive paint supplier PPG Industries Inc., a Pittsburgh-based company that provides paints to General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., BMW AG and others.

The rankings are skewed somewhat by the large number of pickup trucks on the market. Trucks accounted for 55 percent of North American production in the first eight months of this year, according to Ward's, which compiles automotive data. One in four pickups produced is white because business owners often use them as work trucks and paint logos on them. By comparison, 19 percent of midsize cars made in North America are white.

White, which was also popular in the 1980s, is making a comeback as a modern, high-tech color, thanks in part to Apple Inc.'s all-white stores and glossy white gadgets, said Jane Harrington, PPG's manager of color styling for car companies. Manufacturers are also making more varieties of white, from the flat, bright white on many vans to the pearly cream of luxury SUVs.

Silver also rose in popularity as a high-tech color starting in the 2000s. It remains popular because it highlights every angle of a car, Harrington said.

"Silver looks great on any design," Harrington said.

White and other "safe" colors — silver, gray and black — also got more popular during the economic downturn, as buyers stopped leasing and bought vehicles they expected to hold on to for much longer, said Michelle Killen, GM's lead color designer for exterior paints. They were leery of some of the more daring colors on the market, such as the magenta available on the Ford Fiesta or the bright orange on the Scion iQ.

"Buyers want to purchase a color they won't grow tired of over an extended period of time," Killen said.

Color preferences vary by geography. You'll find more red vehicles in North America. Black and gray overtake silver in popularity in Europe. Drivers in Asia like tan and gold but not green. Only about 7 percent of cars in every region are blue.

PPG, which also develops paints for cellphones, laptops, airplanes and houses, bases its automotive paints on trends it sees in fashion, interior design and other areas. Harrington saw a lot of purple at a recent home color show in Paris, for example, so she helped develop a purplish gray paint for cars. PPG starts showing paints to carmakers three or four years ahead of a model's release, and automakers settle on colors two or three years before a model goes on sale.

Harrington predicts customers will see more browns and oranges over the next two years, especially on luxury cars. Brown — which reminds people of leather or a rich cup of coffee — evokes luxury around the world. Earthy colors are also appealing to drivers concerned about the environment.

As for the 2015 and 2016 model years, PPG is showing 64 future color options to automakers this week. Among those are Al Fresco, a silver metallic with a green tint; Glacier, an icy gray with a violet blue tone; and Elixir, a metallic mixture of silver and magenta.

Top vehicle color? White 11/30/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 30, 2012 3:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  2. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  3. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  4. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code

    Banking

    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  5. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]