White Passes Silver As Most Popular Vehicle Color

By Brendan Moore


The auto market is experiencing white-out conditions.

Silver was the top dog in terms of vehicle colors for the past seven years, but white has moved past silver to take the top spot.

This is according to the DuPont 2007 Global Automotive Color Popularity Report released last week.

Ditto for North America as well – white is the most popular color, holding 19 percent of the vehicle market. Silver cars make up 18 percent of the market, and black/black effect (a metallic, sparkly finish) 16 percent. White and silver were tied in 2006 for most popular color for vehicles in North America. Silver’s seven-year run in the No 1 slot was the longest consecutive streak in the 55-year history of the survey.

What madness, right? It’s producing absolute raw excitement in the auto market.

2008 Honda Accord

The preference for white indicates that consumers are poised to shift in a new direction when it comes to vehicle color, said Karen Surcina, DuPont color marketing and technology manager. “White is a trend shifting color,” she said. “Things are up for grabs … customers are looking to personalize their vehicle with different shades and specialty finishes.”

But, Surcina said, just because white is the most popular color doesn’t mean there are not other color trends happening in the consumer arena. “Bright and bold offers of colors are important,” Ms. Surcina said. “Automakers are using those to gain attention for newly introduced vehicles, a sort of ‘notice me’ factor.”

For example, Chrysler offers their full-size Dodge truck in a performance version painted in a screaming bright yellow called Top Banana Yellow. Chrysler’s Charger Daytona model, which was reintroduced recently, was offered in the same Top Banana yellow and Go Man Go orange, then in subsequent years Sub-lime green and Plumb Crazy purple – all variations of the original wild colors popular Chrysler Corp. muscle cars of the late 60’s and early 70’s were offered in decades ago. GM offers its large Hummer SUV in some bright colors and Land Rover does the same with its SUVs. Lotus offers its go-fast sports cars in retina-piercing oranges and yellows. The perennial favorite of all sports cars, red, is more popular than ever.

Let’s hope so – personally, I am not a big fan of white on any vehicle, large, small, whatever. To me it’s a bit boring. I like my cars to have a little more visual excitement that what white (or silver, for that matter) provides.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant.net – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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  1. The color white is good on a car because:

    It’s cool in the summer because it reflects heat

    It is a high-visibility color at night

    If you get in an accident, it’s easy to match white when you repaint the car

    White doesn’t show dirt and scratches like other colors do

    When you re-sell the car, white is an acceptable color to most would-be buyers, as opposed to say, green, or yellow, which a lot of people don’t like

    There is no extra charge for white on the MSRP

    I own a used car dealership and we like white cars because they’re easier to sell.

  2. That white Accord kinda looks like the Kenmore fridge in my kitchen.

  3. White has been the most popular color here in Arizona for decades, not to mention the color of most fleet viehicles. I really hate white cars.

    I admit dealers look at me funny when I say, any color except white, black, or red.

  4. I must admit I was never a fan of white either until the past 5 years or so. Several advancements have made white a more appealing color overall:

    1.) New advancements in automotive paint applications have granted white a new lease on life. One of my favorites is Cadillac’s White Diamond, a complex and creamy pearl color with bright flashes of pink and gold. In any light this color perfectly highlights the sharp creases which have become Caddy’s design language.

    2.) White is a color which often represents purity of spirit, as evidenced by Honda’s plentiful use on its Type-R machines and in its racing livery. In a newfound cultural pursuit for the boiled-down essence of driving, white on these cars proclaims, “I have only what I need.”

    3.) Since Chris Bangle introduced the radical character-lines and shapes we see in modern sheetmetal, pieces which are designed to catch ambient light and shadow, white is a good canvas to set off these features. Even gentle curves benefit from a good metallic-white — SAAB’s Snow Silver was the feature color for the stunning Aero-X concept, and now that same color graces the ’08 9-3.

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