"The mind thinks of silver as a precious metal, such as gold, but more attainable," said award-winning color expert Leatrice Eiseman. "Silver glistens, glimmers and sparkles. There's just something about the appeal of opulence."
Several Colors Strengthen; Gray Makes Substantive Gains
While silver still leads the color pack, the advantage over other hues has faded in favor of chromatic shades such as blue, red and light-metallic brown, as well as medium-dark gray. All of this is combining to put silver's lead under pressure from several colors, all mere percentage points behind the leader.
"Gray is branching out of its silver base," said Karen Surcina, color marketing and technology manager for DuPont Automotive Systems.
Black, now often seen with metallic effects, such as flakes or chips of mica or aluminum, also strengthened as the second-most popular color in Europe and remained among the top three in South America and Asia.
Manufacturers Occasionally Get It Right
Some manufacturers, such as Porsche, have hit the color-palette jackpot on certain models. The limited-edition Porsche Cayenne S Titanium comes in silver, red, black and blue-four of the top six colors listed by DuPont.
"Being a limited edition, the Porsche Cayenne S Titanium comes only in a few colors," said David Pryor, Manager, Market Research and Product Planning. "That is for two major reasons-one, the car is a stylistic statement and two, we keep the selections to a desirable minimum because we can only produce a small number of Titaniums."
The Porsche Cayenne S Titanium, like most limited-edition Porsches, promises to be a sought-after collectable, regardless of color choice.
Color Is Critical Part Of Purchase Decision
The auto market is further pushing the envelope in color, recognizing that as many as 40 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands if they can't get the color they want.