Not everything’s black or white but the 2012 most popular color for automobiles falls squarely into one of those categories. Automotive paint company PPG Industries reports 22% of vehicles built this model year are white. Silver, the big winner in 2010, stays in second place where it landed in 2011. Black and grey come next… and it’s not until fifth place that we start seeing pops of color: that’s where red comes in.
NBC News quotes PPG’s color manager, Jane Harrington, as saying white’s popularity is due in part to Apple’s generous use of the hue in its high-tech designs and stores. She adds that silver, a perennial favorite, is flattering because it “highlights every angle of a car”. As for the appeal of neutral shades, Harrington blames the economy and the fact that many consumers who might have swapped cars out every few years are now keeping their vehicles longer. The rationale is that we’re less likely to tire of a neutral color where as an unusually vibrant shade might get old after a while.
Manufacturers, however, will keep giving us colorful options. Harrington says purple is this year’s “it” shade, and that warmer tones like orange and brown are coming down the pike. We’re betting it’ll be quite a while, though, before any of those tints make the top five.