DuPont Helps Us Predict Most Popular Car Colors of 2013
How often do you think about the color of the car you drive? Well to the folks at DuPont think about it all the damned time. The paint manufacturer has been studying the popularity of car colors for more than half a century, in an effort to properly predict future color trends. Sure, they conduct these studies to make sure they produce just the right amounts of paint for next year (in an effort to cut costs), but their findings are still fascinating. It got us curious about car colors too, so we took a peek under the hood at the last decade of DuPont color study results. Here is what we found. UPDATE: The folks that represent DuPont's coating division reached out to us for clarification. The group was sold by DuPont earlier this year, and is now called Axalta Coating Systems. Axalta will be continuing the tradition of presenting color statistics, and will be rolling out a presentation looking back on the last 60 years of automotive coloring. We'll keep you posted, but for the moment, keep on reading.
The DuPont site makes nifty infograpghics every year to show you the overall popularity and color breakdown. You can get lost in the numbers dissecting regions, like the most popular color in Brazil (it’s been silver every year for the last decade), so we decided then to turn our attention to just the North American market.
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What we found was that the early-to-mid 2000s were dominated by silver, recording 18-19 percent popularity. It was supplanted by the color white in 2007. Since ’07, white has been the most popular color, fluctuating between 17 percent and the low 20’s. Interestingly, black has been the second most popular color, consistently clocking in at 17-18 percent from 2008 to 2012.
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In Since silver’s high point in 2006, it has been on a very gradual decline. It spent one year in the number two spot, with 18 percent popularity, and by 2008 it was the number-three color with 17 percent.
The take away here is that we American like boring colors. White, black, silver, and gray have all been among the top colors for the last decade. The only vibrant color to crack the top three was red way back in 2004, with 14 percent popularity.
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Perhaps less surprising is the fact that white has been the most popular truck color in a big way. By 2003, 23 percent of pickups and SUVs were white, and that number has (short of some statistical outliers) steadily climbed in popularity. In both 2010 and 2012, a full 36 percent of trucks were white. One should take into account the number of pickups that are used on work sites and that fleet vehicles are preferred to be colored white. It’s easier to find black lettering to put on the side of your company or town vehicle, so white is typically the best base for those types of vehicles.
The luxury market is a bit more difficult to read. In 2003 and 2004, gray was the most popular color. Then was silver in 2005 and black in 2006, and in 2007 a tie between black and white. Since then, black has been the luxury color of choice.
The numbers here allow us to make some predictions about the most popular colors in the 2013 model year. While the colors won’t be much of a surprise, we’ll take a stab at predicting the percentages. We expect white to be the most popular color, once again, but climbing to 25 percent. Black will remain the second most popular color at 19 percent, as silver stays at third, but gives up a percentage, dropping to 15 percent.
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It will be some time before the 2013 DuPont color results come out, but when they do, we’ll be sure to check back on our prediction to see how we did. Was your color up here? Odds say yes, but if not, kudos, for having a uniquely colored car!