PHILADELPHIA - Axalta Coating Systems announced its North American Automotive Color of the Year for 2016 – Brilliant Blue.

“The start of the New Year is a perfect time to introduce Brilliant Blue,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Color Marketing Manager. “This new beginning is charged by optimism and fresh thoughts, and Axalta’s new hue represents positive energy and vibrance.”

Brilliant Blue is a mid-shade blue that has both depth and vividness with slight turquoise highlights. It is made with Axalta’s high chroma Vermeera™ technology using a multi-layer process to achieve both an intense blue color and a unique sparkle effect.

Axalta color experts selected Brilliant Blue for a number of reasons. According to Axalta’s Global Automotive 2015 Color Popularity Report, blue increased in popularity to a total of eight percent of 2015 light vehicle sales in North America due to increased use on sport utility and compact utility vehicles. From a worldwide view, blue remained steady while other rich colors declined and white, black and gray increased in popularity. The annual report, now in its 63rd consecutive year, highlights automotive color choices around the world. The full report can be found here.

Historically, Axalta color trend research shows blue has been a top choice in North America. Blue was the number-one color from 1957-1959 (pastel blues) and was the leader in 1988 (darker green shade blues). Recently, industry professionals expressed an interest in the color during automotive events around the country including the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas.

Brilliant Blue is Axalta’s second North American Automotive Color of the Year, following the inaugural Radiant Red. Axalta revealed its Brilliant Blue video during the EyesOn Design awards ceremony at the Cobo Center in Detroit on January 12, 2016. The EyesOn Design Awards, the officially sanctioned design awards for the North American International Auto Show, honor the best production and concept vehicles making their worldwide debut in Detroit. Axalta is a long-time supporter of the program that benefits the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology and is a sponsor of the EyesOn Design Award for Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials.