Why Bumper Color May be Different

Can you tell the bumper's a slightly different color than the rest of this 2014 Kia Cadenza?  It is!

Can you tell the bumper’s a slightly different color than the rest of this 2014 Kia Cadenza?  It is!

While negotiating a car deal yesterday one of our customers commented that it appeared the paint color on the 2014 Kia Cadenza varied slightly between the vehicle body and the bumpers.  I’d never heard such a complaint about a relatively new, undamaged vehicle before so asked Butler sales managers Joel Nickerson and Peter McFadden about it later that afternoon.

“Oh, yeah,” Joel said. “It’s so common that we forget most people don’t know about it.”

Wait, what?  According to Joel and Pete the color variation can be attributed to the fact that bumpers are generally manufactured of plastic while the rest of the vehicle exterior is metal.  The same color paint may reflect differently off different surfaces.  A little research showed paint technique may play a role, too.  Conventional spray equipment may give slightly different paint coverage than electrostatic spray equipment, giving vehicles a slightly varied color even as they roll off the assembly line.

That information was apparently new to our customer, too.  But once he understood the reason for the faint color variance he decided he could un-see it, settled on a price, and took the car home, one car richer and a little bit wiser.

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