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14. Jan 2022 | Markets & Companies

"BASF Color Report 2021": Changing popularity of automotive colours

According to BASF, vehicle production declined overall, which led to shifts in the popularity of certain colour shades: Blue and red are currently enjoying particular popularity.
"BASF Color Report 2021: Changing popularity of automotive colours
Chart source: BASF.

The total number of vehicles built on the world’s assembly lines in 2020 and 2021 was significantly lower than the years before. According to the company, this put a sharper point on the popularity of certain color spaces in the "BASF Color Report 2021 for Automotive OEM Coatings", while knocking some perennial favorites down a few points.

The achromatic colours – white, black, gray, and silver – are still the most popular. But some cracks are showing in their armor as new colour spaces emerge. As predicted by BASF’s designers years ago, blue is having a moment in the sun. Red is also rising – taking market share from the achromatic colours in many parts of the world. Even though the numbers are smaller, green and beige still show up in the data.

EMEA – Greater diversity of chromatic colors and shades

The share of chromatic colors in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is now over 27% and rising – the highest it’s been in two decades. Blue is driving the trend among the chromatics. There are currently nearly 180 shades of blue from sky blue to midnight blue. Red is in second place, far behind blue, accompanied by a fair share of shades of green. For the achromatic colours, white is still the most popular, but gray is catching up. Gray has several options, with effects and textures that multiply its presence.

“Colors designed for EMEA use familiar color positions, but change them with the help of new effects, subtle color gradients, or a specific sparkle behavior. They make the chromatics stand out as bold expressions of individuality and sportiness, gaining popularity each year,” said Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Color Design, EMEA.

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