Auto buyers who've grown weary of what has become an increasingly prosaic and relentlessly monotone color palette may find themselves in a much happier position by the end of the decade. The latest annual automotive color trend research conducted by designers from BASF Automotive Coatings indicate that a renaissance of more "naturally cultivated" hues highlighted by nuanced dark berry and rich copper tones plus more intriguing natural alternatives including intensive browns, blues and greens is looming on the horizon.

The BASF team, which encompassed color experts from North America, South America, Europe and Asia, found that a larger percentage of consumers from all points of the globe are demanding more vibrant and diverse choices. "Although popular staple colors such as silver, black and white make up approximately 50 to 80 percent of current production, there is a rich diversity of potential shades that is returning to the market," noted Paul Czornij, Technical Manager for the BASF Color Excellence group. "The increasing inclination of society to celebrate beauty in earth tones and more traditional green and blue hues is the basis for this trend."

BASF feels that a significant part of this return to more organic colors is heightened consumer interest in sustainability. "The innovation that arises from this mindset nurtures a stronger awareness for things great and small, which in turn raises social responsibility," points out Czornij. "Colors are being developed that evoke this sense of purpose, stretching the aforementioned blue, green and browns into both strong and subtle tones."

The influence of technology also is having an impact on the impending color shift, notes Corinna Sy, Designer at BASF Coatings Europe. "We are observing new narrative and haptic qualities in many areas. Heavy substances, striking surfaces and expressive materials such as wood and stone create a stronger emotional connection to the world we live in. In the automotive world, this means that we can expect more intensive colors and bolder effects. The new colors are expressive, but not blatant, like a good story."


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