The 2005-model year marks the fifth consecutive year that silver has ranked as the most popular vehicle color in North America, according to the annual global color popularity survey conducted by PPG Industries.

Silver topped all colors among North American vehicles produced in the 2005-model year with 26 percent, down one percent from 2004. Silver also remained the leading color for all North American vehicle segments, with the highest share (32 percent) coming in the sport/compact category.

In the U.S., white was the second-most popular color in 2005 at 16 percent of the market. Naturals — gold, copper, champagne, and lighter shades of brown and yellow — appeared on 14 percent of vehicles produced in North America. Red came in at 13 percent, followed by blue at 12 percent. Black captured 11 percent of the market; while green held 5 percent and niche and specialty colors accounted for 3 percent.

Global color trend data shows that silver also led in worldwide color popu-larity with 37 percent of the vehicle market in 2005, up 2 percent from 2004. White was second with 14.4 percent, followed by blue at 12.7 percent, black with 11 percent, red at 9.4 percent, natu-rals with 8.8 percent, green at 4.3 percent and others/specialty colors just over 2 percent.

Lorene Boettcher, manager, Global Design and Color Marketing, automotive coatings for PPG, said, “As predicted, bright silver will remain a favorite in North America and around the world for several years to come due to its appeal among designers to highlight the form and shape of a vehicle.”

“We are continuing to explore a vari-ety of advancements and innovations in technology that will bring silver closer to a liquid-metal appearance — the next hottest trend for this hue,” she added.

“There is a desire to reinvigorate the automotive palette with color,” Boettcher continued. “Color preference has been in neutral mode for so long that we’re now starting to see a push for more colors to emerge and for technology to put a new twist on classic shades. We’re looking to take color to the next level.”

Predictions for the Future

Boettcher made some predictions for the changes PPG sees in color trends for the next few years. First, she noted that the popularity of blue will increase as bolder and more dramatic shades are developed. Liquid-metal and smoky lilac shades will help increase the popularity of this color particularly in the luxury vehicle segment.

In greens, teal will be replaced by youthful blue-green shades. A glass sparkle effect will create richer shades of green for luxury car buyers who want distinction. Green infused with gold effects will add new dimensions to sportier shades.

In the natural area, yellows and yellow-oranges will become richer and warmer and will continue to gain mo-mentum. A dark brown, with glistening textural effects, will be introduced and light-to-medium soft beige browns will be infused with shimmer effects.

Boettcher noted that reds are inspired by wood, and added that this color family will return to warm, dark, and glowing shades. Classic and stable hues resemble deep cranberry and wine. Purple with a heavy-blue influence will capture the sports car segment. Bright impact reds will sustain their popularity.

Finally, in the neutral segment, bright silver remains a favorite. A new set of neutrals will emerge in silvery beige, blue-greens, and deeper greenish char-coal shades. White-yellow pearls with more special effects will continue in popularity.

Finally, PPG noted that it is also experimenting with a technology that gives waterborne colors a vibrant liquid metal appearance.