According to PPG Industries, the world's leading manufacturer of all types of automotive paints and finishes, silver -- and its charcoal adjunct -- continues to reign as the color of choice for most car and truck buyers around the world. Here in America, silver/charcoal accounted for 25 percent of the market followed by white (18 percent), black (16 percent), red (12 percent), blue (11 percent), "natural" colors (7 percent) and green (4 percent). The silver/charcoal choice was even more dominant in the Asia/Pacific region where it was selected by 34 percent of new-vehicle buyers, followed by black (21 percent), white (17 percent), blue (9 percent), red (7 percent), naturals (6 percent), various other "niche" colors (4 percent) and green (2 percent). Europeans went one better, choosing silver or charcoal for 35 percent of their purchases, again trailed by black (22 percent). However, blue and white each held a 13-percent slice on the continent, trailed by red (9 percent), naturals (5 percent), green (2 percent) and other niche colors (1 percent). White has become the fastest-growing color in Europe, nearly doubling its percentage in just the past two years.
At the recent annual Automotive Color Trend Show, PPG presented its own ideas for future hues that ranged from a copper-tinged Champagne Silver and sparkly Outer Space Blue to a Hulk-inspired bright green and a neon-red interior trim called Quantum Rose. It also previewed a new-generation of paints with glass flake coatings. As the name implies, they incorporate smooth glass flakes coated with different types of metal-oxide layers that give the colors "extreme sparkle and brightness." Jerry R. Koenigsmark, PPG manager of color design, North America automotive coatings, said the company hopes to introduce this technology on a commercial basis within the next two to three years.