BASF publishes report about 2015's most popular automotive colours

09 February 2016

In BASF’s European Color Report for Automotive OEM Coating, BASF’s Coatings division has presented the colour distribution for 2015. BASF, Europe’s market leader for colour development for automotive OEM coating, provides detailed evidence for the consumers’ favourite colours. For example, the report shows that there are distinct differences between the individual automotive segments with respect to colour. The smaller the car, the wider the colour range, while larger cars more frequently feature special effects.

Throughout Europe, white is the most frequent colour used for automotive finishes. Since 2007, the percentage of white vehicles has risen continuously and now stands at 30%. Together with black, grey and silver, these ‘uncolourful’ finishes account for more than 75% of the colours used for new cars. While the use of this colour range has remained steady in recent years, considerable changes have evolved among the chromatic colours. In this area, blue stands out as the most popular colour on Europe’s roads, and this is true for all types of cars. Red and brown are also frequently represented, with brown especially popular for SUVs and red for small and mid-sized cars.

But colours aren’t the only way people express themselves; special effects offer another option. Achromatic colours, such as black, silver and white in particular develop a completely individual colour behaviour through targeted special effects. The geometry of the body is visually enhanced and the colours take on a new effect, as Mark Gutjahr, Head of Automotive OEM Color Design at BASF in Europe points out. "The targeted interaction between colour and special effects is making automotive colours more complex and multifaceted. This development will continue to accompany us for a few years. We haven’t yet exhausted the possibilities in the special-effect palette." In 2015, more than half of all cars throughout Europe were coated with luxury paints with metallic effects and 16% featured pearl effects. Nearly one in three cars has a pure solid finish, mostly in the small car segment.

With the analysis of the current colour distribution in the European automotive market, BASF’s European Color Report supplements the facts contained in the Color Trend Collection published annually by BASF’s Coatings division. While the trend collection provides an outlook on the colour areas that will play a role for cars in the future, the report reflects market development and summarises the status quo.

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