Fluid blues, revitalizing greens and wood-inspired reds debut in 2008-2009.

The 2005 model year marks the fifth consecutive year that silver has ranked as the most popular vehicle color in North America, according to the annual global color popularity survey conducted by PPG Industries. Silver topped all colors among North American vehicles produced in the 2005 model year with 26 percent, down one percent from last year. Silver also remained the leading color for all North American vehicle segments, with the highest share (32 percent) coming in the sport/compact category.

"As predicted, bright silver will remain a favorite in North America and around the world for several years to come due to its appeal among designers to highlight the form and shape of a vehicle," said Lorene C. Boettcher, manager, Global Design and Color Marketing, automotive coatings for PPG. "We are continuing to explore a variety of advancements and innovations in technology that will bring silver closer to a liquid-metal appearance - the next hottest trend for this hue."

Additional research conducted by PPG reveals that for the 2005 model year in North America, white was the second most-popular color at 16 percent. Naturals - gold, copper, champagne and lighter shades of brown and yellow - appeared on 14 percent of vehicles produced in North America. Red came in at 13 percent, followed by blue at 12 percent. Black captured 11 percent of the market, while green was 5 percent, and niche and specialty colors accounted for 3 percent.

Global color trend data collected by PPG found that silver also led global color popularity with 37 percent in 2005, up two percent from 2004. White took second with 14.4 percent, followed by blue at 12.7 percent, black with 11 percent, red at 9.4 percent, naturals with 8.8 percent, green at 4.3 percent and others/specialty colors just over 2 percent.

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New Colors for 2008-2009 Model Year

The PPG Global Design and Color Marketing Team - comprising 20 colorists in North America, Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, Malaysia, India and Australia - developed 130 new colors for consideration by automotive designers for the 2008-2009 model years.

"There is a desire to reinvigorate the automotive palette with color," said Boettcher. "Color preference has been in neutral mode for so long that we're now starting to see a push for more colors to emerge and for technology to put a new twist on classic shades. We're looking to take color to the next level."

The color experts at PPG predict the following North American color trends for the 2008-2009 model years:

Blue: The popularity of blue will increase as bolder and more dramatic shades are developed. Liquid-metal and smoky lilac shades will help increase the popularity of this color in the luxury vehicle segment.

Green: Teal will be replaced by youthful blue-green shades. A glass-sparkle effect will create richer shades of green for luxury car buyers who want distinction. Green infused with gold effects will add new dimensions to sportier shades.

Naturals: Yellows and yellow-oranges will become richer and warmer and will continue to gain momentum. A dark brown, with glistening textural effects, will be introduced, and light to medium soft beige browns will be infused with shimmer effects.

Red: Inspired by wood, this color family returns to warm, dark and glowing shades. Classic and stable hues resemble deep cranberry and wine. Purple with a heavy blue influence will capture the sports car segment. Bright impact reds will sustain their popularity.

Neutrals: Bright silver remains a favorite. A new set of neutrals will emerge in silvery beige, blue-greens and deeper greenish charcoal shades. White-yellow pearls with more special effects will continue in popularity.

"Incorporating new coatings technologies into color families will continue to be the primary focus of automakers looking to differentiate their vehicle brand," said Jerry R. Koenigsmark, manager of color design, North America, automotive coatings for PPG. "Glass flakes and silver-coated glass flakes add intense, bright sparkle when used in dark and medium hues. We are also experimenting with a technology that gives waterborne colors a vibrant liquid metal appearance."

The Global Design and Color Marketing Team combines research of global automotive, interior design, fashion, product design, contract and consumer markets, architectural coatings, cosmetics and packaging with insight of regional influences and knowledge of new technologies to gain a better understanding of international color preferences.

For more than 20 years, PPG has been tracking and presenting color creations and the latest technical information to automakers worldwide. In addition to identifying automotive color trends, PPG also helps define trends for aerospace, aftermarket, architectural, general industry, glass and trade sale products.