A Difference in Color or Colour?

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Car color preferences differ by nation or regions of the world, as we found in comparing our previous post on Axalta’s study, and BASF’s Color Report 2020, issued in the UK.

BASF’s Color Report 2020 for automotive OEM coatings indicates there are more colorful cars being produced, as evidenced in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), particularly as it relates to smaller SUVs and their growth in the market. Still, achromatic colors are dominant, with white being number one.

The United Kingdom being a part of Europe when they so choose, we wondered if it held true across the board, or if it was somehow different, as the UK practices its Brexit from the European Union. It turns out that in the UK, grey is the most popular color at 26 percent of the total. The color report indicates that 79 percent of UK-produced vehicles are achromatic, three points higher than its share in the EMEA.

Among the chromatic segment, blue is tops at eight percent of the UK total, with red in second at seven percent, with green and orange following closely. Green, and not just the British Racing Green tone most commonly referenced, is three times more popular on cars in the UK than in EMEA.

Mark Gutjahr, automotive color design head, BASF EMEA said, “Green is considered the classic racing color of Great Britain, and we can see this reference in a much higher production rate within the region. The export markets connected to UK brands enjoy this color, as it has been an essential for decades in the line-up of all manufacturers.”

Scott Robinson, BASF UK account manager, coatings division said, “Other color trends we are seeing within the automotive market are a desire for two-tone exterior styling and personalization. While gray, white, black and silver continue to dominate, there is an appetite for an individual look.”

BASF’s color report for automotive OEMs is data derived and analyzed from BASF’s coatings division, based on 2020 global automotive production and paint application to light-duty vehicles. Whether we’re talking color here, or colour there, the variations are interesting.

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Nick Nick on Feb 01, 2021

    I still think that option Audi had of allowing one to pick your colour for what was a remarkably low cost was a great idea. One of the writer's hear did that, I apologize for not being able to remember. Had I that option, I think I'd opt for Moulin Rouge, even though it's an Audi.

    • Daveo Daveo on Feb 01, 2021

      I love that green. Reminds me of the old GM muscle cars of the late 60s and Early 70's. I called it bottle green.

  • Daveo Daveo on Feb 01, 2021

    I've bought my last three cars used and they all ended up being black. They look stealth but are a pain to keep clean. Just bought a Wrangler as a side piece and the color was "Sting Gray"... clearly a play on Stingray which I though was clever. Their green is called Sarge. What I don't get are some of the other names. We had an SQ5 that was Florett Silver Metallic. And our X3 M40i is Phytonic Blue. What do those words mean? They really don't give you a visual. When they say "Soul Red Crystal" I immediately know which Mazda color you're talking about.

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.