Car colour? Denim, cognac or silky silver

Much has been written about the cars of the future - will they be full electric, hybrid or powered by a fuel cell? Everyone has a view, but have you ever wondered what colour they may be?

How about denim, like the name, a classic blue with a high effect sparkle, or cognac, a rich coppery warm brown with an iridescent highlight, silky silver, a liquid silver look with a slight bronze cast. Then there's moonshine blue, a pale silvery blue like the reflection of the moon on a lake; and wicked, a sinister green colour inspired by couture fashion.

They were some of the colours revealed to carmakers in Detroit by paint manufacturer PPG Industries. Jane Harrington, the company's colour styling manager, said: "Colour is an important component of how today's carmakers can define and differentiate a vehicle or brand in the marketplace.

"The palette of colours being developed for the automotive market is clearly being influenced by culture, nature, fashion, movies, media, electronics and many consumer products."

Despite introducing these exotic new colours, PPG revealed that silver once again seems to be the choice of car customers around the world. But green is definitely out of favour. For the 10th consecutive year, silver has ranked as the most popular vehicle colour in the world, according to PPG. In fact, silver's popularity is at its highest since 1990 when the data was first recorded.

In North America, the silver, grey and charcoal category saw a dramatic rise in popularity to 31 per cent this year. It accounted for 25 per cent in 2009 and 20 per cent in 2008. Black and white tied for second on 18 per cent with red third (11 per cent ). Blue was fourth (10 per cent ), while naturals, like brown, tan, gold, orange and yellow, accounted for eight per cent and green was last with four per cent.

PPG said 16 years ago green was the most popular colour on vehicles in North America with 21 per cent ,while silver had only eight per cent in 1994.

In Europe, silver and charcoal (32 per cent ) were followed by black 24 per cent, white 20 per cent, blue,10 per cent, red nine per cent, naturals five per cent, and green one per cent. Other ‘niche’ colours accounted for the final one per cent.

In Asia, Pacific silver and charcoal led with 33 per cent, followed by white 21 per cent, black 19 per cent, red 10 per cent, blue eight per cent, naturals six per cent, niche colours four per cent and green two per cent.

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