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Silver still entrenched as world’s favorite vehicle color, according to PPG data
Company introduces 70 new shades at annual Automotive Color Trend Show
TIANJIN, China, Oct. 12, 2009 –
For the ninth consecutive year, the silver category, which includes charcoal and gray shades, has ranked as the most popular vehicle color in the world according to data from PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), the world’s leading manufacturer of transportation coatings.
In the Asia/Pacific region, silver and charcoal (34 percent) were followed by black (21 percent) and white (17 percent). These three color categories comprise more than 70 percent of all vehicles in the region. Blue is fourth with 9 percent, followed by red (7 percent), naturals (6 percent), other/niche colors (4 percent) and green (2 percent). Perhaps the fastest-growing color in Asia/Pacific is black, which jumped 8 percentage points in one year from 13 percent to 21 percent.
“Black is one of the four most important colors in Asia,” said Mi Hwa Lee, color stylist, PPG Korea. “While solid black tends to look dated, increasing the luster with metallic effects adds elegance to this core color. Tinted-effect blacks in tones of bronze, blue and green will continue as an important direction.”
In North America, silver and charcoal (25 percent) were followed by white (18 percent), black (16 percent), red (12 percent), blue (11 percent), natural colors (7 percent) and green (4 percent).
In Europe, silver and charcoal (35 percent) were followed by black (22 percent), blue and white (13 percent each), red (9 percent), naturals (5 percent), green (2 percent) and other/niche colors (1 percent).
“Clearly, the automotive industry is moving toward more color choices,” said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive coatings, in Troy, Mich., U.S.A. “Palettes are broadening as the number of models decreases and the industry consolidates. Going forward, automotive manufacturers are going to be relying on color more and more to distinguish their brands.”
At this year’s annual Automotive Color Trend Show, the coatings company presented its ideas for future vehicle colors. Titled “3D Color” – representing “Design,” “Dimension” and “Differentiator” – the show included a collection of interior and exterior colors developed globally and inspired by fashion, interior design, industrial design, culture, commercial construction and nature. PPG presented automotive designers with 60 new exterior shades and 10 new interior shades for consideration in their designs of the 2012-2013 model years. The new shades were grouped in four themes based on vehicle type: “Dimension” for compact vehicles; “Perspective” for mid-size vehicles; “Surface” for hybrid vehicles; and “Depth” for luxury automobiles.
PPG introduced automotive manufacturers to new colors such as Champagne Silver, a tinted silver with a slight warm copper beige cast; Outer Space Blue, a deep, dark blue with a slight sparkle effect; Haute Couture, a black base coat with a high sparkle blue mid-coat that gives it an appearance inspired by a black designer evening gown with blue sequins; Quantum Rose, an interior color close to a neon red; and Hulk, a color developed in Australia that is bright green, just like its namesake.
In addition to the new exterior and interior colors of the show, PPG added a computer-generated imaging portion of the display. This provides automotive designers with the ability to see some of the new colors as they might appear on new model vehicles.
In addition to color trend forecasting, PPG is continuing to develop new paint technologies that offer automotive design options to enhance appearance and help manufacturers differentiate their brands.
One of the paint systems that PPG previewed at the show is a next generation of glass flake coatings. These are paints that include very smooth glass flakes coated with various metal-oxide layers. “Because of the coating’s narrow particle distribution and very smooth surface, this product shows extreme sparkle and brightness,” said Jerry R. Koenigsmark, PPG manager of color design, North America automotive coatings. Koenigsmark said that the company hopes to make these coatings available commercially in the next two to three years.
PPG also highlighted its Chaos Sky White mica coatings. These are new shades of white based on synthetic micas coated with titanium dioxide (white pigment).
Additionally, PPG spotlighted its new inorganic infrared-reflective pigments. These coatings have a very high solar reflectivity that helps to keep the vehicle cooler, reduce air conditioning use, and reduce fuel consumption.
On the forefront of innovation in decorative and protective coatings and environmental application concerns since 1924, PPG helps automakers advance coatings technologies and application processes.
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, optical products, specialty materials, chemicals, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 140 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. Sales in 2008 were $15.8 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit
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