From techno aquamarine and rich mahogany to glittering green and delicate yellow, the next generation of automotive colors reflect a bright and vibrant outlook toward the future, according to PPG Industries (Pittsburgh).

PPG's Global Design and Color Marketing Team is showing automakers more than 170 innovative colors for consideration for the 2007-2009 model years, demonstrating how its company is driving color into the future of automotive design.

"We are seeing that North American consumers are moving away from more traditional shades and moving toward brighter and more dynamic color choices," says Lorene C. Boettcher, manager, global design and color marketing, automotive coatings for PPG. "In fashion, furnishings and other industries, designers are breaking away from black, gray and white to more nontraditional, vivid colors. This trend, which mirrors what's occurring in automotive coatings, demonstrates an optimistic attitude toward the future."

PPG finds that brighter aluminum flakes and special effect pigments will play a strong role in creating a range of finishes and visual textures that create unique, new colors.

"Effect pigments with strong reflective and angle-dependent color-shifting properties are creating a variety of visual textures that will interest designers and consumers alike," says Jerry Koenigsmark, manager of color design, North America, automotive coatings for PPG. The PPG team has developed a range of new colors, treatments and special effect pigments that add excitement and adventure to automotive coatings, he says.

Based on research conducted this year for 2007-2009, PPG forecasts the coming auto color trends for North America:

Blue - the trend is toward a range of soft, silvery green-shade blues to bright techno shades of aquamarine.

Green - different textural effects and warm undertones range from a new turquoise shade to near gold and will complement new luxury and sport hybrids.

Naturals - new interpretations of gold and beige with fine texture will emerge, as will soft yellow and yellow with red highlights. Russet shades of brown and warm shades inspired by environmental materials such as leather give a new look to tan.

Neutrals - sophisticated and contemporary varieties emerge in medium to dark values with differing hues. Warmer more dynamic whites will complement the overall palette.

Red - new intense sporty shades, refined yellow-shade reds, mahogany tones with effect highlights and rich, almost purple, tones are being investigated.

PPG's Global Design and Color Marketing Team consists of more than 25 colorists in North America, Europe, Japan, South America, India, Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and China. The team combines research of global automotive, fashion, architectural and interior design trends with insight of regional influences and knowledge of new technologies to gain a better understanding of international color preferences.