Few trends are more trendy than “going green.” But in the automotive industry, the concept and the color don’t match. According to recent study from DuPont, only two percent of new vehicles built in North America in 2007 were painted green. Green was even a less popular choice than yellow, which accounted for three percent of manufacturers’ color choice.
While green cars are far from the rage, cars painted white are now the North American industry leader.
For the first time in eight years, according to a report on MarketWatch.com, white overtook silver as the most popular color choice, with a 19 percent of the market. Silver was second, not far behind white, with black as the third most popular color choice with 16 percent of the market. Red, gray and blues followed in decreasing popularity, followed by beige, yellow and green.
“The growth of white pearl and black effect represents two neutrals with special effects, including metallic and hue shifting finishes,” said Karen Surcina, DuPont’s color marketing and technology manager. “This provides a safe color space for customers with the ability to add a level of customization or flair.”
Vibrant colors, like red and orange, are experiencing an global increase in popularity, according to Surcina.
By category, silver is still the top color for compacts, sports cars and crossover sport utility vehicles. White remains the most popular color for luxury vehicles as well as full-size SUVs and trucks.
In Europe, black is the dominant car color leader, accounting for 25 percent of the market. White is the most popular color of cars in Mexico at about 32 percent. And in Brazil, China and particularly in South Korea (39 percent), silver is the most popular color for cars manufactured in the respective countries.
Article Last Updated: September 9, 2013.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.