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Automotive Color Trends

Color plays a significant role in the purchase decision of a vehicle.  It can enhance the styling of a vehicle, make a statement about your personality or just make you feel good.  Selecting the wrong color can also affect the resale value of your vehicle.

BASF, a global supplier of automotive OEM and refinish coatings, produces an annual Automotive Color Trends report.  This report shows the current colors selected by automotive shoppers as well as predictions about future trends.

Current Color Selections by Segment

Before diving into the future trends, let’s take a look at the current color selections by vehicle segment.  Sadly, the results may not surprise you:

It doesn’t take a scientist to realize the three most popular colors today are white, black and gray.  I suppose those are safe colors that may stand the test of time.  For me, I prefer more expressive colors that make my car stand out from the crowd.  

If you are stuck with one of those top three boring colors, you can always jazz them up with vinyl graphics.  I covered that in a recent article found HERE.

Looking Ahead

According to BASF’s 2020-2021 Automotive Color Trends report, they predict the colors below will be the most popular in the next two to four years, or between 2023 to 2025. Designers drew inspiration from different places including nature, consumer products and fashion.

“These colors serve as inspiration to automotive designers for vehicles that will be on the road in three to five model years,” the report said.

  • Dark seltzer: This gray-like color signals the “new normal,” according to the trend report.
  • Redolent red: The trend report says the new color captures a “subtly muted reddish-brown color, pigmented by the forward-thinking functionality that new transportation demands.” Maybe reddish colors will be the new white. 
  • Abstraction blue: Indeed, blue is rising in popularity so it’s no surprise that this color is going to be in the minds of consumers.

Another automotive paint supplier, PPG, forecasts that gray will remain a popular core color for cars for years to come.   This is “driven by the resurgence of concrete and stone materials and the on-going appeal of ceramic and metal tones. The gray palette will shift toward warmer hues with brown influences, while blue-inflected grays will retain their fashionability,” their report said.

Like BASF, they also predict that blue will gain popularity.  “Blue is an optimistic, comforting color that conveys trust, dependability, confidence, healing and hope. It’s also associated with nature, cleanliness and future-forward technology.” 

Color and Resale Value

According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), today’s popular car colors will probably make your vehicle more popular to a buyer five years from now. As color trends change, there is a chance the color you chose five to seven years ago might not be so popular today.

By playing it safe when it comes to color choice, you could actually be helping out your bottom line when it comes time to sell your car.  

So, are you buying your car for you or the next guy?  At some point in your life, you need to satisfy your own desires.  Live it up!  Seize the day!  Express yourself!

You have my permission to buy the car you need with the color you want.

Supporting Youth Automotive Programs

Colors help define the look of your vehicle and can show your passion for cars (if you avoid white, black and gray!).  I hope to ignite the passion in young car enthusiasts through information and guidance.  My one word of advice:  don’t drive cars with boring colors!.

I also provide ongoing support of automotive programs designed to inspire and educate young car enthusiasts through the sale of items in the Vehicle Nanny Merchandise Store.  All proceeds go directly to programs that support youth automotive. 

I hope you can find a fun item for yourself that also supports our budding car enthusiasts.  All products come in multiple colors, too!

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