Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘auto paint’

The “Face” and the “Flop” – Picking the Right Paint Colors for Tomorrow’s Cars Can Be a Big Challenge

Two-tone pastels, “secure” blacks and blues, high-tech golds among the likely trends of 2019.

by on Jan.20, 2016

Buick opted for a paint so dark you might think it was black, not blue, depending on lighting.

Low-slung and sensually sculpted, the Buick Avista is generating rave reviews, and large crowds, at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

When designers pulled the concept car together, they spent nearly as much time coming up with the right, dark blue paint color as they did on Avista’s sheet metal. And the Buick team wasn’t alone. Whether ticket-me-red, sunburst orange or elegant white, color is critical to designers hoping to make their production cars and concepts pop on the auto show floor – and in the showroom.

We Color Outside the Lines!

“When you buy a car, your friends are likely to ask, ‘What did you buy – and what color is it?’” suggests Jane Harrington, the manager of color styling for PPG Automotive Coatings.


Men Opting for Bright, Bold Paint Color, Women Prefer Safe Neutrals

Red and black losing traction.

by on Jul.06, 2015

Long popular red - shown here on a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - has lost some of its luster.

One only has to follow fashion to know that men and women typically have very different tastes when it comes to colors. But while guys might tend towards more subdued shades when it comes to the clothes they wear, they’re much more open than women to bright, bold and flashy colors for the vehicles they buy.

A new study finds that orange, brown and yellow are the colors men have developed a strong preference for over the last year. Women, on the other hand, remain wedded to traditional gold, silver and beige.

Hue Should Subscribe Now!

“These study results could suggest that women are more practical in their choices. For the most part, they may just want to buy a reasonably priced car that safely drives them around,” said Phong Ly, co-founder of the used vehicle website iSeeCars. “On the other hand, for men, perhaps they may be a bit more idealistic about cars, preferring something that has speed and is fun to drive.”


Politics, the Environment – and Your iPhone – Could Influence the Color of Your Next Car

Blues, greens, browns gain momentum – but white, black, silver and gray still dominate.

by on Aug.05, 2013

BASF color chief Paul Czornij with samples of paint colors likely to be popular over the next few years.

Henry Ford liked to tell his customers they could order a Model T in any color they wanted “as long as it’s black” – an option that certainly wouldn’t fly today.

Automakers today offer a wide ranging palette of colors, seemingly every shade between black and white, and the range of offerings continues to grow. BASF, one of the industry’s largest paint suppliers, is showing off 65 new hues to automotive designers as part of its annual color trend show.

Color My World!

While a handful of shades continue to dominate — black, white, silver and gray – other popular shades are strongly influenced by factors ranging from current events to consumer electronics, as well as increasing concerns about the environment, explains Paul Czornij, the technical manager of BASF’s Color Excellence Group.


BMW Designer Credits Apple for Selling White Cars

But brown is back, too.

by on Aug.30, 2012

Does the iPad help sell white cars?

White is the new black…so to speak.  When it comes to the colors that American motorists tend to prefer, white has traditionally taken a back seat to black and silver.  But it has been gaining ground lately, taking over as the most popular automotive hue in some recent studies.

Credit Apple, says Sandy McGill, chief designer for BMW DesignWorks, who believes the Silicon Valley giant’s iPhones and iPads have had a direct influence on the choice consumers make when buying cars, as well.

Subscribe Now! It's Free!

McGill offers kudos to the late Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs for transforming the public mindset.  “Prior to Apple, white was associated with things like refrigerators or the tiles in your bathroom. Apple made white valuable,” the designer told


Silver Still King, But Automakers Look to “Naturally Cultivated” Colors

Will your next car be delivered in a “nuanced berry” tone?

by on Jul.26, 2012

Vibrant versions of traditional colors, such as green, copper and berry, could be in for a comeback.

When it comes to paint colors, motorists are a predictable lot, those staple, if boring, shades of silver, black and white routinely accounting for as much as 80% of the current automotive market.  But a new forecast by one of the industry’s leading paint suppliers suggests many buyers might be ready to shift to something a little more exotic.

In its annual forecast of color trends, BASF Automotive Coatings says it anticipates a surge of “naturally cultivated” tones, including “nuanced” berry and copper hues, as well as a return of brown, blue and green – though the latter will be more subtle and organic versions of the traditional earth shades.

News You Can Use!

“Although popular staple colors such as silver, black and white make up approximately 50 to 80 percent of current production, there is a rich diversity of potential shades that is returning to the market,” said Paul Czornij, Technical Manager for the BASF Color Excellence group. “The increasing inclination of society to celebrate beauty in earth tones and more traditional green and blue hues is the basis for this trend.”


Color Me Relieved: Japanese Paint Plant Back Online

Loss of pigments colored what paint choices American buyers were offered.

by on May.10, 2011

Ford will soon be able to offer the Harley-Davidson F-150 in its signature Tuxedo Black again.

The automotive world is about to become a little more colorful thanks to the resumption of production at a plant in Onahama, Japan that produces some key paint pigments used by automakers around the world.

The plant, owned by the chemical giant Merck, is the only source for some key ingredients required to make such popular hues as Ford’s Tuxedo Black, a high-glass metallic hue offered on a variety of the maker’s products.  Production was halted on March 11, when Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, followed by a crisis at a key nuclear power plant that has left the island nation struggling for electricity.

Subscribe for Free!

As a result of the shortage of Merck’s Xirallic pigment, Ford, Toyota and a number of other automakers around the world were forced to either stop taking orders for colors like Tuxedo Black or offer customers some alternatives.


McBlog: Blue

Denise McCluggage and the color of our cars.

by on Dec.17, 2010

Think blue and you'll see quite a few cars with the hue of the Alfa columnist Denise McCluggage used to drive.


When you next go out on the street that’s what you’re going to see. Blue. Bright blue cars and pick-up trucks. (I do like a blue truck.) You are going to see them because I started noticing more of that particular blue – not navy, not baby, but blue like mouthwash is blue; blue like my Alfa Giulietta that I tossed around Europe circa 1958 was blue.

And because I saw them you will. Suggestion does that. (See one car with a failed taillight and suddenly it seems every third car you pull up behind has a taillight out.)

Your Winning News Source!

For all my “there’s one, there’s another” observation, blue is not a new favorite car color. Indeed only in Japan is blue, any blue, in the top four of popularity. recently reported on DuPont’s announcement of car color favorites worldwide (Click Here for more). Notice please that the four favored car colors around the globe are non-colors. In varied order in varying countries black, white, silver and gray are continued favorites. Red, the most favored colorful color, most often leads my blue. (But zap – see blue for the nonce.)


Silver Stays Most Popular Paint Color

But black coming on strong, reports DuPont.

by on Dec.08, 2010

Henry Ford once told customers they could order a car in any color they wanted, “as long as it’s black.”  When arch-rival General Motors came along and offered up a palette of paint colors, the upstart maker took a sales lead it still holds today.

These days, makers know that buyers want an array of alternatives, whether they be somber black or vibrant gold.  Yet, the vast majority of motorists still tend to stick to just a couple of shades, notably silver, which has dominated the automotive spectrum for several decades – and this year has accounted for 26% of the new cars, trucks and crossovers sold in the U.S., according to mega paint supplier DuPont Automotive.

Silver, which was a solid number one for most of the last decade is in danger of being dethroned, however, and Henry Ford would undoubtedly be pleased to see black making a comeback.  In its various permutations, noire grabbed a 24% market share in 2010.  One reason is that there’s now more than the usual glossy black to choose from.  In fact, the traditional, solid version of the hue accounted for only 10% of the market, the other 14% went to what DuPont describes as “effect” versions of black.

http://www.thedetroitbureauYour News Source! Click To Subscribe!.com/about/subscribe

Paint the Town! Click Here to Subscribe!

Third on the list is gray, which some paint suppliers actually lump together with silver – which have given the traditional choice for high-line vehicles dominance once again.

White, which briefly nudged silver out of the top spot in 2007 and ’08, followed with 16%.

But beyond that, no colors managed to nudge into double-digits.  Red, for example, grabbed just 6% of the market, blue just 5%, and despite their increasing popularity on small cars and sports cars, yellow and gold together managed to eke out just 1% of the demand.


Silver Retains Top Spot In Auto Paint Pantheon

Tenth consecutive year it outshines black, white, red and green.

by on Oct.06, 2010

Silver is the overwhelming favorite paint color for 2010, on models like the new VW Jetta.

Yet again, silver is the favorite choice of American motorists when picking the color for their new products, according to one of the industry’s top paint suppliers.

For the tenth year in a row it has readily outsold such stalwarts as black, white, red and blue – as well as the season’s hip alternatives, like Flaming Orange.

Indeed, silver’s lead is the highest yet seen, according to officials at PPG Industries, accounting for 31% of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. during the 2010 model-year.  That’s up from 25% the prior year and just 8% as recently as 1994, when it began its climb up the charts.

News, Reviews and More!

“There’s clearly been a significant strengthening of silver’s popularity in recent years,” said Jane Harrington, PPG manager of color styling, during PPG’s Automotive Color Trend Show.


Makers Going to the Matte

Low-gloss paint a hit in Geneva, but problems persist.

by on Mar.08, 2010

European tuner Carlsson brought this matte-painted Mercedes to Geneva, but a dozen other displays featured flat finish paints.

A quick tour of this year’s Geneva Motor Show reveals that a lot of automakers are going to the matte – matte finish, that is.

Even before Henry Ford began advising customers they could get their Model T in “any color, as long as it’s black,” manufacturers prided themselves on the high gloss of their paints.  Indeed, American motorists spend millions of dollars, each year, on waxes and polishes designed to give their cars an even more lustrous shine.

But all that began to change when Lamborghini rolled out the $1.4 million Reventon supercar, at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Costing more than four times as much as a conventional Lamborghini Murcielago, the limited edition sports car featured a number of unusual touches, from its 650-horsepower engine to the distinctive carbon fiber body panels painted in a flat gray-green hue the Italian maker also dubbted Reventon.

Spot On!

The look generated plenty of comments, especially in the normally high-luster luxury market, but few manufacturers seemed willing to follow Lambo’s lead.  Until now.  As the public streams through the turnstiles for the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, this week, they’ll discover that matte is, in a sense, the new black.  A walk through the sprawling PALExpo convention center quickly turns up at least a dozen new models using a matte finish, though with far more color options than were originally offered on the Reventon.