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You can’t be very tough in a bright yellow car – how people choose car colours and how car manufacturers predict that

Posted May 20, 2017

You may not want to admit this, but car colour is extremely important. You would rather drive an older and technically worse car, if the second option was a very ugly bright green new car. But do colour choices say something about one‘s personality? How car manufacturers chose colour palettes to give customer a choice?

New car colours are developed by highly-trained teams. Image credit: Hyundai

Hyundai says that there are many reasons why we tend to gravitate towards certain colours when it comes to buying a new car. Of course, our personal preferences play a major role, but cultural expectations are almost equally as important. Consciously or subconsciously we all follow trends to a degree. Hyundai mentions an example – cars in 1950’s and 60’s used to sport much brighter colours than ones of today. Nowadays only supercars are wearing extremely bright paintjobs, but even they are getting more subtle.

It is calculated that today the most popular car paint colours are white, black, grey and silver accounting for over 70% of all the cars. That is just the trend we are living in – car fashion is becoming a little bit more conservative. Solid darker colours are associated to bigger, more luxurious cars, which is why cheaper car manufacturers are adapting.

In Europe white is the most popular car colour. It is often chosen for company fleet cars and is loved by people living in hotter climates – it reflects sunlight better. However, some experts speculate that it might be “Apple effect”. White colour now is associated with clean and modern design, so maybe people are matching their cars to their electronics. On the other hand, grey and black are also more popular in Europe than in any other region.

White is the most popular car colour in Europe. Image credit: Hyundai

Hyundai is thinking that maybe symbols we attach to colours play a role as well. White is associated with love of new, clean things and so would appeal to a perfectionist person more. Meanwhile black is more of a symbol of timelessness, sophistication and trustworthiness. Bright yellow would be joy and playfulness. Cars are extensions of our personality, so this non-scientific explanation could be onto something.

Days when colour was just a colour are over. Now you have to choose much more than just black or white, or blue – you have to choose the shade, type of paint, clear coat and so on. In fact, car manufacturers now have teams of specialists who develop colours by researching trends and trying to predict how they may change in the future. As we said – colour of the car is that important. They also have to come up with cool names for each colour. Such as ara blue, stargazing blue, phantom black, platinum silver, white sand, and intense copper in Hyundai’s range.

You can’t be touch in a bright yellow car. Image is important to all of us and there is nothing wrong with that. Car manufacturers invest heavily into developing new colours that would appeal to more people and it is something worth celebrating actually – big company does everything to make you that little bit happier.


Source: Hyundai

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