Automotive coatings specialist PPG Industries reports that American car buyers continue to favor conservative hues when it comes to the color of their vehicles. White was once again the most popular pick overall, favored by 23 percent of buyers, followed by black (18 percent), gray (16 percent) and silver (15 percent). Red and "natural hues" (golds, beiges, yellow, oranges and browns) each account for about 10 percent of the remaining choices. According to PPG's Global Color Trends study, American tastes largely parallel of buyers around the world. White proved the top choice in all regions garnering a 28 percent total share followed by black clocking in at 18 percent. Gray and silver tied at 13 percent each, although the popularity of the latter has dropped by seven percent during the past two years. 

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The study also confirmed that buyers of sports models in the U.S. continue to favor more expressive colors, with red, blue and green moving ahead of gray and silver. Brown tones grew in popularity in the midsize and SUV segments. While 24 percent of buyer in the luxury market here opted for white, that high-dollar segment also was the most likely to feature vehicles with metallic or pearl tri-tone "effect finishes." 

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As for what lies ahead, Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive OEM, anticipates increasing popularity for natural tones such as coppers, oranges and browns as well as a greater presence of bronze, pewter and rose gold -- all of which have influenced the fashion, jewelry, furniture and industrial design in recent years. She also foresees even greater use of deeper, richer "high-depth" finishes, particularly on 2015 models that offer blues, reds and yellows. She notes that PPG has submitted 63 new choices to automakers for consideration in the 2017-2018 model years. Although they range from more interesting earth tones to bright reds, blues and greens, the jury is still out as to which will ultimately turn up in the showroom. 

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