White Emerges Topper in BASF Color Report 2019

White Emerges Topper in BASF Color Report 2019
White cars dominated the roads across the globe in 2019. (Photo: BASF)

BASF’s analysis of the 2019 colour distribution—the BASF Color Report 2019—finds that white cars are still more abundant on the roads in comparison with cars of other colours.

The report is put together by BASF’s Coatings division on the basis of automotive production and paint application to light vehicles in 2019 worldwide.

The primary results of the report point out that around 39% of all cars manufactured worldwide are white. Although white is the most popular colour in all regions, the regional distribution differs. Every third car in North America and EMEA is reportedly white. In comparison, nearly every second car in Asia Pacific is white in colour.

The next three most popular colour choices are black, gray and silver. In 2019, 39% of cars manufactured were coated in either of these colours. Achromatic colours were not the only ones used on cars, according to the report. Chromatic colours made up the other 22% of the new vehicles worldwide. Of these, blue cars stand at 9% and red at 7%.

BASF notes in its release that the company’s designers formulate deep and brilliant shades using special pigments, effects and other innovations.

The report also finds that the brighter colours are most likely to be found on subcompacts and smaller vehicles. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), brown and beige have started gaining some popularity.

Specifically in the North American automotive market, achromatic colours are topping the charts, in keeping with global trends. Here, 77% of the cars are painted in white, black, silver and gray. However, the colour distribution seems to be more even with white cars constituting only 29% of the vehicles. The report finds that there is a noticeable shift in the hues of white being used. There is a movement away from warm whites (with yellow undertones) to cooler whites (with bluish undertones and white pearl effects). This trend is most noticeable on luxury and electric vehicles.

Pickup trucks are very popular in the North American region. BASF notes that these vehicles are currently becoming luxury people-movers instead of utilitarian tools. With this change, there is a preference for deep, rich black shades alongside the still popular white ones (38%). There also seems to be a developing preference for shades of red—currently 11%. “These aren’t your father’s pickup trucks,” said Paul Czornij, Head of Design for North America. “They are luxury machines, and they are adopting the colours you see in the luxury market’s design language.”

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