The 48th annual DuPont color popularity survey reflects the growing emergence of "techno-colors," such as silver, along with nature-based colors including warm browns and a new interest in cool blues. The emotional impact of black and traditional primary colors such as red is also expected to remain strong.
White retained dominance in the full/intermediate, sport/compact and sport-utility vehicle/van segments. The popularity of white was bolstered by pearlescent effects that produced a silky luminance, especially in the luxury vehicle segment where white recaptured the top ranking from light beige metallic.
As DuPont predicted last year, silver made the most significant gains in popularity with consumers in North America during 1999. Most notably, silver leaped from fourth place to first in the sport/compact category, attracting 16.2% of consumers and rose to second place in the luxury and full/intermediate car categories.
A variety of tinted silvers also rose significantly in Europe. Green, which has been in the top spot for the past four years, declined in every category except the SUV/truck/van segment, where it gained in popularity by 3.8% to become the third ranked color after white and black. The most popular color in Europe, blue gained popularity in North America, particularly in the sport/compact and SUV/truck/van segments.
"These are exciting times for the automotive industry. Designers are pushing back boundaries and vehicle concepts once considered too wild for mass production are now hitting the show rooms," said Robert S. Daily, color styling and marketing manager, DuPont Automotive Finishes. "These bold, new vehicle designs demand fresh colors. Silver has always conjured images of space-age technology. But as a coatings innovator, DuPont has introduced an entire palette of tinted silvers, ranging from icy/cool bluish tones to warmer, more golden shades. Improved coatings technology, especially in more durable clearcoats, continues to open the door for a wider range of color choices."
Coloring The FutureLooking ahead, the hot colors of the first years of the new millennium will continue to reflect a trust in technology, but also convey a financial optimism. "Silver is hot right now, but in the future, look for shades of gold to seize a growing share of the market. Gold shows a sense of grandeur and prosperity, relating to a luxurious lifestyle that people want," said Daily.
DuPont supplied topcoat finishes for every one of the top-10-selling vehicle models in 1999. The company is currently showing automotive stylists more than 100 innovative new colors for year 2003 models, and leads in the number of new colors chosen for new vehicle production throughout the world.