BASF Published the 2022 Automotive Color Report

Date: 18/01/2023
Categories: Sector trends
A car representing the automotiv colour popularity report of BASF

BASF reports that chromatic colours are gaining market share, although white and black are still the preferred coatings colours for the automotive sector.

The designers of the coatings manufacturer BASF have recently published the annual Color Report aimed at the automotive OEM coatings market. The 2022 edition marks that achromatic colour dominated the sector around the globe last year, but the palette is also expanding to allow colours like yellow, orange, green and violet to take a fair share.

White, black, silver and grey have been employed to coat most of the non-commercial vehicles produced in 2022. As it has been for several years, white is still the most popular car colour around the world for its classic and timeless beauty, as well as its high resale value. When buyers did not select achromatic colours, they often opted for blue or red. While those two colour spaces are still very popular, other chromatic colours like yellow, orange, green and violet are all gaining market share in most regions of the world.

The data cited throughout the report also shows that automakers produced more vehicles, as they bounced back from the effects of the global pandemic and regional supply chain challenges.

The EMEA market is more colourful

Although white and black increased their share in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, silver and grey decreased, leaving space for several other colours: blue still has a commanding lead among chromatic colours, orange started appearing in car preferences while yellow, brown and green all picked up a few percentage points.

“White and black increased this year, but the bigger story is diversity in the chromatic colors. When you add the market share of yellow, orange, brown, and green, you can see more hues and diversity, reflecting a more nuanced color palette and a depth and breadth of color that has developed in the last year or two,” has stated Mark Gutjahr, the head of Automotive Color Design division of BASF for the EMEA region.

More chromatic colours like violet showed up in North America

North American car buyers have fewer choices for chromatic colours, but that does not mean they are choosing fewer chromatic cars, trucks, or SUVs. Blue and red are still dominant, but the region is more colourful than before as green, yellow, violet and beige showed up more often. Blue is still on top and the gap with red is widening. Achromatic colours like black, grey and silver lost some market share, especially in larger vehicles.

“If you look at the heavy hitters among the chromatic colors, blue and red are on top. But with people turning more to nature, natural colors like green, yellow, violet, and beige are making their mark. Car buyers are also looking for a vehicle color that conveys their positivity,” has commented Liz Hoffman, the head of Automotive Color Design division of BASF for the Americas region.

Global overwiev of the popularity of colours

White, silver and beige dominated the South American market

Historically, South American car buyers have chosen more traditional and less flashy colours. Like other regions, white is by far the favourite, while grey beats black in market share. For chromatic colours, red and blue were stable, while brown gained some market share. Those colours were most likely chosen for smaller vehicles. Larger cars and SUVs had the highest share of achromatic colours, including new and varied effects for grey featured on larger cars.

“South America is still a conservative region. Buying a vehicle in SA means you may not have the same variety of colors, but within each color space, there are some really exciting and different effects,” has explained Marcos Fernandes, the director of the Regional Business Management of Automotive Coatings in South America.

Increase of grey shades in the Asia-Pacific Region

White was also the most popular colour in the Asia-Pacific region, but the real focus is an increase in grey shades, hinting at a new era in the automotive industry and the changing values and habits of car buyers. Although the total numbers are not huge, brown, green and violet are all consistent in colour popularity, especially among small vehicles and NEVs, which are selling in a wider range of colours.

“Gray is more attractive and popular than ever. Users never give up pursuing uniqueness and individuality in achromatic colors. Some gray shades with blue or violet undertones are working their way into the market, with solid-like effects and also added color pearl effects showing great diversity in the color space,” has concluded Chiharu Matsuhara, the head of design in the Asia-Pacific region.