PPG’s 2021 Automotive Colour Popularity Report reveals several emerging trends, including increased demand for two-tone finishes and personalised colours. However, from a global perspective, the report shows white (35 per cent) and black (18 per cent) continue to be the most popular choices for car buyers, while silver (11 per cent), blue (eight per cent), red (seven per cent), and ‘natural’ (four per cent) each dropped by one per cent.
The report also charts the rising popularity of grey (up two per cent in each of the past two years), green, and violet, with vibrant new colours most likely to debut on ‘sporty’ models, rather than SUVs or utes.
There is also growing demand for two-tone finishes, which Misty Yeomans, PPG Colour Styling Manager Automotive OEM, Americas, said reflects the desire for personalisation among consumers. “Along with special-order colours, tinted clearcoats, tri-coats, and matte finishes, two-tone finishes better reflect vehicle owners’ individual preferences and personalities,” Yeomans said.
PPG said that although two-tone finishes were common in the 1950s and 1960s, conventional colour development and application processes made them increasingly costly and impractical in mass production. However, PPG is now helping global vehicle OEMs overcome the challenge through “breakthrough” precision application technology that produces crisp paint edges without masking and other time-intensive steps.
According to PPG, colour personalisation is also being enabled by the company’s advancements in digital colour styling, which dramatically reduces the ‘time to market’ for new colours.
Yeomans said the PPG global colour styling team also sees an increasing holistic approach to vehicle styling. “We consider all surfaces and features of the vehicle as part of our colour styling process. As one example, we are seeing increased use of specialised wheel coatings and colours to complement the styling cues of the vehicle body,” Yeomans said.