Black/black effect was at the top of the intermediate/CUV segment and luxury/luxury SUV segment popularity ranks. It represented 19 percent of the overall market, maintaining second place in vehicle color popularity in North America. Compared to metallic versions, solid blacks are most favored in the truck segment. Metallic blacks brought interest to the market and have been widely used in all segments, especially in luxury/luxury SUV.
For the first time since 1998, silver did not lead in any of the North American vehicle segments, which may be attributed to the increased influence of black and white as status symbols for luxury and quality. However, silver held steady in third place overall with 16 percent market share.
Gray rose two percentage points this year with increases in the truck, luxury and intermediate vehicle segments. The top four preferences, white, black, silver, and gray, have represented the majority of popularity the last 10 years.
Red rounded out the top five color choices across each vehicle segment and consequently, overall in the region, with 10 percent of the market. Popularity rankings of red (10 percent), blue (7 percent), brown/beige (5 percent), yellow/gold (2 percent), and green (2 percent) show bright colors are widely noticed on the road but do not make up the majority of consumer preferences.
Europe – White/White Pearl Trumps Black as Top Color
In 2012, white/white pearl overtook black/black effect as Europe's most popular vehicle hue. With 24 percent of the overall European market, white/white pearl also topped the compact/sport and truck/SUV categories in the region.
"The significance of white is represented in sustainability preferences and advanced design," said Elke Dirks, DuPont color designer for Europe. "White pearlescent shades are growing in popularity as well, although their use is minimal compared to solid whites."
Black/black effect has been losing popularity in the region since it peaked in 2009, according to DuPont, and has slipped to second place overall, with 23 percent of the market. However, it maintains its leadership position in the intermediate/MPV and luxury/luxury SUV categories.
Gray (15 percent) and silver (14 percent) have both decreased in popularity this year, while blue continues to increase, grabbing eight percent of the overall European market in 2012.
White Gains in Asia Pacific – Leads Japan and South Korea, as Black takes China; Silver Tops in India
White, black and gray are the top colors in the Asia Pacific region overall, but white seized the lead this year from silver, with 22 percent market share in the region. Black and gray were 21 and 20 percent respectively, while silver dropped to fourth overall with just 14 percent. Red rounds out the top five colors in the region, with 7 percent of the overall market in 2012.
Japan's affinity for white/white pearl continued in this year's report for the sixth consecutive year, with the top spot and 27 percent share, up from 26 percent in 2011. At 22 percent, black/black effect increased in popularity and ranks second in Japan. Rounding out the top five, silver (17 percent), blue (8 percent) and gray (7 percent) fell in popularity this year, while red is growing in popularity, netting 6 percent of the overall Japanese market.
"The compact car segment in Japan shows more eco-trends with more natural and earthy color choices, which we expect to see more of in the market moving forward," said Kumiko Ohmura, DuPont color marketing manager, Asia Pacific.
South Korea has the highest popularity of white/white pearl in the Asia Pacific region at 28 percent, an increase of 3 percent over 2011 and overtaking the longtime leader, silver (23 percent), in the country by 3 percent. Black/black effect represents 16 percent of the South Korean market and gray colors 15 percent of vehicles in South Korea, with blue and red tied in fifth with 5 percent each.