Silver Comes In First for Auto Paint

Oct 07, 2009

Silver Comes In First for Auto PaintFor the ninth year in a row, silver is the number one color choice for new cars and trucks, said paint supplier PPG Industries this Thursday at its annual Automotive Color Trend Show.


According to PPG Industries, one out of every four vehicles in North America is silver. Manager of color styling Jane Harrington says that’s an increase of 5% since last year.


“Silver looks great on any car, shows off all of the lines and helps people blend into the crowd,” Harrington said.


Since silver began its stint as auto paint champion nine years ago, the technology for auto painting has grown by leaps and bounds.  The silver paint applied to vehicles today is vastly different than its older counterpart.  Compounds in the paint, pigment sizes, and even the size of paint flakes have changed to allow for much richer and deeper color.


This year’s study of colors included a breakdown of colors by vehicle segments:

-57% of compact cars are silver or black; 21% are blue or red.

-Blue and red make up only 17% of the midsize segment and 12% of the luxury segment.

-On the other extreme, 40% of all luxury vehicles sold in the U.S. are black.

-Europeans, who have a stronger small-car culture, have even more color variety in the compact segment, with 37% of the small cars in red, green, brown or blue, according to PPG.


Susan Swek, group chief designer of color material design at Ford Motor Co, said that colors may change, but they still have a lasting impact on buyers.


“Over time, different colors will sell and become popular,” she said.  “But some things won’t change, when you buy a vehicle, people always go, ‘What color did you buy?’


Photo courtesy of schoschie under the Creative Commons License.