Blues and Browns Highlight Next Trend in Auto Colors


A more colorful selection of vehicles will be available within the next two or three years if BASF’s annual color trend report proves true. Based on a recent survey by the Southfield-based company, 60 percent of North American respondents currently drive a neutral color car (i.e., black, silver, or white), while nearly half prefer brighter jewel-toned shades of reds and blues.

“This reflects what our color trend research is showing for color preferences,” says Paul Czornij, technical manager for the BASF color excellence group. “It underscores the preference for optimism and confidence pointing toward a better future.”

Going forward, BASF released 65 new colors — highlighting three different global trends — and has been presenting them to automotive OEMs. In North America, new versions of cool, deep, and dark tone colors such as blue and brown will be highlighted along with greens and bright yellowish green hues.

“We look to develop color spaces that capture a look that says, ‘This is me,’ ” says Paul Czornij, technical manager for the BASF color excellence group. “There is so much emotion and psychology attached to color, which makes it an ideal expression of one’s image to the outside world, and it works so remarkably well with car body shapes. You can truly see innovation in action.”

While car color trends are based on women’s fashions is true to a point, Czornij says that’s only a small part of it. “This tends to be a little more conservative than fashion because, obviously, your car needs to last you a long time. If hot orange is everywhere for one season, what are you going to do when that trend is over?”

To determine color trends, BASF looks at what’s happening in technology, society, and among individuals — something that varies on a global level. BASF’s color trend forecast shows that neutral colors will continue to reign in the Asia-Pacific market, although olive-greens and bluish grays may become more popular as original designs and personal style becomes more important to buyers. In Europe, the forecast shows that drivers will find a balance between red and green, and black and gray.

Czornij says that the company also shows rising interest for gloss modifiers and textures that are created with matte finishes or special effect technologies that give colors a three-dimensional quality.

In related news, Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology brand kicked off its “The SRT Viper Color Contest.” The contest gives fans a chance to submit and choose an official exterior color name for the 2014 SRT Viper. The fan that submits the winning name will win a trip in late January to the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona at Daytona International Speedway. In addition, they will have the opportunity to spend time with the Viper Design team throughout the race weekend. For more information, visit