It may be a boring color, unless of course, it’s on a Silver Shadow, the iconic British luxury car produced by Rolls-Royce for 15 years beginning in 1965. But regardless of style and segment, silver remains the most popular vehicle color.But not only is the category that encompasses silver, gray and charcoal the most popular car color for the 10th straight year, it’s at its highest popularity since 1990.
Paint maker PPG Industries, which begin tabulating car color total 20 years ago, reported via a press release:
“In North America, the silver, gray and charcoal category saw a dramatic rise in popularity to 31 percent this year. The color accounted for 25 percent in 2009 and 20 percent in 2008.”
Black and white vehicle were tied for second place at 18 percent Red was third at 11 percent, blue was fourth at 10 percent and the category called “naturals” — browns, tans, golds, oranges and yellows — combined were fifth at 8 percent.
Ironically, Green, the most popular 16 years ago, was the least popular with four percent.
“There’s clearly been a significant strengthening of silver’s popularity in recent years,” Jane Harrington, PPG manager of color styling and automotive coatings,” told USA Today.
“And, with more than two-thirds of cars in North America being black, silver or white, one might be inclined to believe that vibrant colors don’t exist in automobiles anymore. But that’s not true.”
Article Last Updated: October 7, 2010.
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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.