Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Color is Your Car?

In case you hadn’t noticed, most of us are driving dull colored cars. According to the annual car color survey conducted by DuPont, white is the most popular followed by black, silver, and grey. Combined those colors account for 70% of all cars built last year.

Red cars accounted for only 10%.

According to this column by John Kelly in The Washington Post, DuPont has been tracking color popularity since 1953. Historically, “the 1970s saw the rise of brown, yellow and orange as top colors. The 1980s added beige to the mix, along with blue. White started its ascendancy in the 1990s. (Red was popular for a while, too, and green had a brief run at the charts.) In the 2000s, white and silver started their domination.”

Our home is no exception to this trend. Out of four cars, three are white, one is red.

Could it be a reflection of the economy?

Nancy Lockhart, the color marketing manager for DuPont thinks “the austerity of the last few years has been reflected in the somber palettes.”

“Also, since luxury models typically come in black and silver, people associate those colors with quality, even in lower-priced vehicles. I suppose manufacturers have been making a lot of white/black/gray because that’s what they think consumers want. And it’s certainly what consumers have been buying.”

In other words, if I can’t be in the one percent, at least I can drive the same color car…or something like that.

This dull car color phenomenon is global too. The DuPont website includes color popularity charts for twelve areas of the world and the deviations between them are minor. Red, for instance, appears to be most popular in Brazil, but still it is only 11%.
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