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BW Businessworld

In With The Hue

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Are you one to keep up with Joneses at all costs? Then you better know that the yellow Beetle or gold Hyundai Sonata you have set your heart on are uber uncool as far as car colours go! According to the 2011 DuPont Automotive Color Popularity Report—all over the world— white/white pearl along with silver are what people are opting for in cars.

In India, light shades continue to rule the charts with white capturing 28 per cent of the market; silver follows closely with 27 per cent; gray was in third position with just 9 per cent share.   

White/white pearl surged ahead in 2011, boosted by sudden popularity in European, China, Korea, South America and South African markets which together with North American markets helped it to surpass long-standing rivals black and gray and to join silver at the top of the world colour ranks with 22 per cent share. Only last year (2010) white/white pearl languished in the third place, tieing with gray in the world colour ranks with just 16 per cent share

The DuPont report, in its 59th year, is the longest running and largest of its kind in the industry, includes automotive colour popularity rankings and regional trends from 11 leading automotive regions of the world.

Black and gray dropped to third and fourth, respectively, in this year's report with red and blue strengthening and holding positions in fifth and sixth place.

Silver and black have long been recognised in the top three for colour popularity.  However, in the past few years, white/white pearl has been steadily growing in popularity outside of North America.  The overall trend for casual luxury has spread to numerous vehicle types. Classic white and pearlescent white effects are inspiring luxury design.

In the North American market, white/white pearl were top choices (23 per cent market share), for the fifth consecutive year, led by the truck/SUV segment, with 29 per cent.

Other colours of choice were black (18 per cent) and silver (16 per cent). Gray had 13 per cent of the market and was in fourth position while red maintained its fifth place rank with 10 per cent of North American market share overall. 

In Europe, the luxury segment continued to be dominated by black with 25 per cent share, led by luxury/luxury SUV segment (40 per cent). White/white pearl made a surprising surge of about five percentage points over 2010, to reach 20 per cent share. White was seen as inspiration for the ecological megatrend in Europe, because it represents modern minimalism and future technology, according to Elke Dirks, DuPont colour designer for Europe. 

Gray (18 per cent) and silver (15 per cent) decreased in popularity this year, and blue rounded out Europe's top five colours with 7 per cent of the vehicle market.

Silver topped the Asia Pacific region overall with more than 25 per cent share in the region and repeated its No. 1 position again this year in China and South Korea.  White/white pearl was second overall in the Asia Pacific region, with slightly less than 25 per cent of the market, led by Japan and India, where it ranked as the No. 1 color in those countries.

Silver led the South American market with 30 per cent share and also was the color of choice in Brazil.  The second most popular colour in South America, is black/black effect (19 per cent); white/white pearl comes third (17 per cent).

Among other regions of the world, white/white Pearl is top choice in South Africa while in Russia, the preference is for Black.