Autos | Trends

Paint companies see blue looming as a car color

Bored with the same bland silver and white cars dominating the highways? Worry not. Blue is the car color of tomorrow. • Automotive paint supplier PPG Industries recently issued its annual forecast of popular car colors. Blues, particularly more vibrant, richer, complex blues, will take on a more important role in car styling, said Jane Harrington, PPG's manager of color styling for automotive coatings. "It's one of those colors that complements vehicle shapes," Harrington said. "It's a globally acceptable color. It doesn't have any bad connotations."

PPG, based in Troy, Mich., infers future car colors from trends in a wide variety of areas, including fashion, interior design and consumer products. In fact, color is making its way into a growing number of consumer markets, Harrington said, with customizable color now an option with cell phones, kitchen appliances and even washing machines.

"Look at home appliances — washers and driers and refrigerators used to be tan or white," she said. "You can get those in brushed aluminums. You get those in a variety of hues: red, blue, green, whatever works with the interior of your home. I think that's affected all aspect of designs."

PPG is not the only company that sees blue as the color of tomorrow. In April, a report by chemicals giant DuPont also predicted a resurgence in blue. It saw an increasing focus on the environment as a reason.

"The source of the trend is influenced by ecological concepts, as we talk about sky, water," said Karen Surcina, color manager for DuPont Co. "You can also talk about blue as a sophisticated look."

PPG said its colorists have developed more than 130 color concepts for its automaker customers to consider for the 2011-12 model years. The palette includes a color called "Lights Out," a deep, dark blue accented by sparkling glass flakes, and "Split & Peel," a pale, creamy yellow.

Among existing cars, silver continues to be the most popular color in North America, PPG said. Twenty percent of new cars purchased this year were silver, PPG said. White was second, at 18 percent, followed by black at 17 percent and red at 13 percent.

Paint companies see blue looming as a car color 10/28/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:49pm]

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