Market Snapshot


A new study conducted by PPG Industries shows that silver is the new favorite exterior color with North American car buyers, with 22% preferring it to the next closest favorite, white (19%). The popularity of silver is dipping slightly, down 2% from last year, while black—the third favorite at 15%—gained two points. Rounding out the top colors are red (13%), blue (12%), naturals (10%), other/niche market colors (6%) and green (5%).

"Silver is popular with consumers and automakers because it accentuates the styling of a vehicle and looks modern while also having a high resale value," said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive coatings. The rising popularity of black, white and other colors stems from the fashion and interior design industries, Harrington said. "Today's consumers are aware of trends and design, and they expect to see that reflected in the vehicles they buy."

Consumers in general are becoming more aware of the personalization options afforded to them by installing specialty-equipment products on their vehicles, as evidenced by the market dominance of the accessory and appearance product segment (products typically popular with mainstream consumers and that tend to follow popular design and color trends). This segment rose to $21.1 billion retail in 2006, comprising nearly 58% of the specialty-equipment product market share.