White the Most Popular Color for New Vehicles image

White has ranked as the most popular vehicle color in the world according to data from PPG Industries, the world’s leading manufacturer of transportation coatings. One in five 2011 models sold in North America was white.

“Color is one of the most basic means of human expression,” said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive coatings. “The palette of colors being developed for the automotive segment is being influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, media, auto shows, color popularity and new pigment technology.”

In North America, white was first, making up 20 percent of the 2011-model-year cars. Silver was second at 19 percent, then black at 18 percent, gray at 15 percent, red and blue tied at 9 percent, naturals such as brown, tan and gold at 7 percent, green at 2 percent and other colors at 1 percent.

Overall, the North American color selection paints a bleak picture, as bleak as the economic outlook.

Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager of color styling and automotive coatings, also noted that a car is one of the most expensive purchases consumers make, so they tend to be conservative.

“Some people will have that car for 10 years,” she said.

However, she added there are “a lot of great colors out there.” Harrington is right.

Europeans will find black on 26 percent of 2011 models, white on 19 percent and silver on 16 percent. In the Asia/Pacific region, silver takes the lead at 25 percent, with white in second place at 23 percent and black at 17 percent.

A recent PPG survey found that 77% of car buyers said that exterior color was a factor in their purchase, and 31% said they’d be willing to pay extra for a color that expresses their personality.