BASF has released a new color report, titled “The BASF Color Report for Automotive OEM Coatings.” According to the report, achromatic colors dominated the automotive market around the globe in 2022. But as BASF’s designers found, the automotive color rainbow is expanding to allow colors like yellow, orange, green, and violet to take market share. Despite the shift in colors, the achromatic colors – white, black, silver, and gray – followed a familiar pattern, coating the majority of the non-commercial vehicles produced in 2022. As it has been for several years, white is still the most popular car color around the world.
If buyers didn’t choose achromatic colors, they often went for blue or red. While those two color spaces are still very popular, other chromatic colors like yellow, orange, green, and violet are all gaining market share in most regions of the world. The data cited throughout the report also shows that automakers produced more vehicles as they bounced back from the effects of the global pandemic and regional supply chain challenges.
Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) showed gains for its two most popular colors – white and black – and losses in market share for gray and silver. At the same time, the region got much more colorful. Blue still has a commanding lead among chromatic colors in EMEA, but both blue and red lost market share. Orange started appearing in car buyers’ preferences, and yellow, brown, and green all picked up a few percentage points.
North American car buyers have fewer choices for chromatic colors, but that doesn’t mean they’re choosing fewer chromatic cars, trucks, or SUVs. Blue and red are still dominant, but the region is more colorful than before as green, yellow, violet, and beige show up more often.
Blue is still on top, and the gap between blue and red is widening as blue continues its dominance. Achromatic colors like black, gray, and silver lost some market share, especially in larger vehicles. That allowed earthy tones like beige, brown, and green to increase, and violet to gain market share as car buyers’ tastes changed.
As BASF’s designers saw in other regions of the world, white was also the most popular color in Asia Pacific. The real focus this year is an increase in gray shades, hinting at a new era in the automotive industry, and the changing values and habits of car buyers. While the total numbers aren’t huge, brown, green, and violet are all consistent in color popularity. Gray gained about 6% in popularity, taking market share from blue, red, gold, and brown.
Historically, South American car buyers have chosen more traditional, less flashy colors. Like other regions, white is by far the favorite, and gray beats black in market share for the achromatic colors. For chromatic colors, red and blue were stable, while brown gained some market share. Those colors were most likely chosen for smaller vehicles. Larger cars and SUVs had the highest share of achromatic colors, including new and varied effects for gray featured on larger cars.
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