White Continues Its Boring Reign as the Most Popular Car Color Worldwide

The Annual Global Automotive Color Popularity Report calls out the masses' dull choices.

Mercedes-Benz GLB, X247, 2019
Daimler AG - Global Communicatio—press photo, do not use for advertising purposes

Axalta recently released its 67th Annual Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, which shows that white remains the top automotive color for the ninth consecutive year. Hooray?

According to the report, the top four colors for new cars worldwide are white, black, gray, and silver. This bland range of hues represents a staggering 80-percent of all new vehicles sold and the statistic makes us wonder why any car company offers colors with actual pizzazz. Maybe Henry Ford was right with just offering black?

This year was tough for silver, which has fallen out of favor in the world's buying populace. It tumbled out of the top three to its lowest popularity level in more than a decade. White, as mentioned, takes the top spot and is followed by black and gray. 

Things get interesting on a provincial level, with various colors being far more popular in certain regions around the globe. Americans buy more red cars than anywhere else in the world, while gray is most popular in Europe. Russians prefer their cars in some shade of brown. And drivers in the U.K. preferred black.

Part of white’s popularity could be linked to the fact that many automakers offer the non-color as a standard feature, while charging extra for other paints with actual pigments. Brands like Tesla charge $1,000 for the privilege of most colors other than white. Red, however, will set you back $2,000 on its Model 3 sedan. 

Another part of the equation could be that white and other neutral car colors tend to lead to higher resale values which sees an increased choice of neutrals and produces a feedback loop where all other colors get pushed outside the mainstream.  Maybe someone wants their car resembling a Skittles? Maybe they want neon orange? We may never know so long as resale values continue to favor monotonous tones.

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