Terrorism Concerns May Dictate Car Colors in 2019

If you pick a car color in fear, then the terrorists have won.

ISIS Paint Colors
Xinhua/Zhu Xiang via Getty Images

Fashion trend forecasting has an automotive equivalent, with companies like PPG Industries showing off haute colors and trends for vehicles that won’t be on the market for two or three years. The Pittsburgh company gathered 20 of its international color experts in Miami to devise the next collection and discussed security, vulnerability, protection, and uncertainty as overwhelming sentiments. When their work was finished they had 64 hues laid out as a palette for 2018 and 2019 models, the collection called “Amplify” and further grouped into four trends: Knight’s Watch, Hyper HD, Lucid Dreams, and I/M Perfect.

Knight’s Watch is all about finding occasional shelter from a world going mad-madder-maddest, described as “a stronghold theme providing sturdy reassurance for safety and security through traditional colors representing refuge and confidence. Like a silent guard, the visual code of this palette communicates strength and protection with dark, dramatic jewel tones and blackened metal shades.” If your car is the castle you spend the most time in – or the one you feel best in – then this will let any hostiles know you mean business.

Of course it can’t all be about hunkering down, so Hyper HD is “a mix of dazzling bright hues” signifying self-expression and technology, Lucid Dreams is pastels-with-a-twist, like mint green and anodized gold, while I/M Perfect gives you the keys to “celebrating the perfection of imperfections and authenticity” with foliage greens, and copper and brass tones.

Intriguingly, the same four trends are used in home coatings but the residential and industrial collection is called “Odyssey” and “includes 120 colors symbolic of both the securities and insecurities people are feeling every day.”

We have two years to celebrate before the doom descends, PPG’s top color expert saying 2016 will be full of blue and orange – Go Mango, anyone? This year’s Colors of the Year are all for bright eyes, PPG choosing Paradise Found, Glidden Paint going with Cappuccino White, Olympic picking Blue Cloud, Pantone doing the double with Serenity and Rose Quartz.

Based on PPG’s survey of the most popular car colors we’re not sure how many people have their eyes on the chroma runway or their own ostensible fears. White held onto its five-year-old crown as the most popular color last year, slathered on 35 percent of all vehicles built, while 75 percent of global production is either white, black, gray, or silver. In the US those four tones account for 74 percent of sales, with white at 23 percent, and other regions like advertising their achromatic tendencies even more than we do.

This makes us dubious when PPG says more than half of buyers claim they won’t buy a vehicle until they can get their first choice in color, unless those buyers are saying, “No, I want the other shade of white…”