Silver, black, gray, white and red came up big in DuPont's 2011 Automotive Color Popularity Survey.
Silver, black, gray, white and red came up big in DuPont's 2011 Automotive Color Popularity Survey.

DuPont’s 58th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report showed only two percentage points separate silver from black as the leading vehicle color globally, with black’s popularity in key automotive markets outside of North America being substantial. White and gray are tied for third place, with gray’s popularity increasing three percentage points from last year’s survey. Red, the only non-neutral color in the top five, is increasing in popularity, taking the fifth spot on the global color popularity rankings.

The top 10 global vehicle colors are as follows:

  1. Silver – 26%
  2. Black/Black Effect – 24%
  3. White/White Pearl and Gray 16% percent each (tie)
  4. Red – 6%
  5. Blue – 5%
  6. Brown/Beige 3%
  7. Green – 2%
  8. Yellow/Gold 1%
  9. Others – <1%

“Our annual global color analysis allows DuPont to share insights into global color trends with automakers as they’re planning future vehicle designs,” said Nancy Lockhart, DuPont color marketing manager. “The demand for fresh, high-quality information is more relevant today than ever before, as the industry continues to see increased consumer demand for innovative vehicle design and styling.”

The annual survey is a critical guide for automotive manufacturers, particularly those marketing their vehicles globally, given the differentiation in regional markets.
For instance, DuPont’s survey showed that in North America, white/white pearl retained its lead for the fourth year in a row, with 21% popularity share. DuPont experts say this largely reflects the preferences of the fleet and light truck and sport utility vehicle markets in North America. Meanwhile, black/black effect beat silver by one percentage point, for the No. 2 spot, with 18%.

By comparison, black/black effect lead overall in Europe—across nearly all vehicle categories—with 24% popularity. Gray was five percentage points behind with 19% percent, and silver fell to 17% percent popularity.

In the Asia/Pacific region, light neutrals lead in popularity, while black/black effect are popular for luxury models in the region. “The concept of ‘Think Blue’ has developed industry-wide, as OEMs strive for green vehicles and concept designs," said Emily Hung, DuPont color designer for the Asia-Pacific region. “Light blue metallic colors are widely selected for environmentally responsible concept vehicles by many auto manufacturers in the region.”

Meanwhile, in India, white is the leading color choice for vehicles, with 29% share in the market. Silver is just five percentage points back, at 24%. However, in a first among the regions surveyed, brown/beige (11%) is in third place for the Indian market, while gray and black followed at 9% and 8 %, respectively. Black/black effect (8%) is lowest in the ranks in India among all of the regions, with a fifth place finish.

DuPont’s Global Automotive Color Popularity Survey reflects information and regional trends from 11 leading automotive regions of the world, including both established and emerging growth markets. In 2010, for the first time, the report includes trends from South Africa. (White was overwhelmingly the most popular vehicle color choice in the region, at 35%, which is the highest percentage of any region covered in the report. Silver, at 24%, took second, with black/black effect combining for 14%.

DuPont’s study is the original and most comprehensive report on global automotive color popularity and remains the first of its kind compiled on a global basis. The complete findings are available from DuPont.