Automotive Color Trends

PPG, a global leader in the refinish paint and coatings industry, conducted research into automotive color trends and reports that up to 60% of consumers identify color as a major factor in their vehicle-buying decisions.  Read on to learn about what new colors are making debuts and how vehicle color preference changes from year to year.

The Conservative Stand-bys

Many consumers often choose conservative vehicle colors such as white, black or green.  Green, a tried-and-true choice, began to wane in popularity in the late 1990s as preferred colors shifted to the neutrals.  But, in recent years, green is making a comeback as its popularity has increased in home décor, wall colors, furniture and fashion.  Vehicle color choice is as unique as each consumer, as some drivers feel that certain colors are easier to keep clean or are less noticeable while passing speed traps.  Others prefer to make a statement with their vehicle color choice, almost as an extension of one’s identity.  One thing is certain – vehicle color matters to consumers.


PPG maintains a strong global color forecasting process.  There is a psychology to the “green renaissance” as foliage-influenced greens provide “a retreat that shields us from competing priorities and the always-on digital society around us.”, according to PPG global manager, Jane Harrington.

PPG global segment manager, Jennifer Solcz said “Car colors can go beyond the body and can be represented in various areas – including the car’s interior, wheel coatings and more.”  Color is extremely influential, and OEMs look to industry leaders such as PPG when planning color themes, combinations and options.

Color My World

PPG’s unique position as a color leader in multiple markets enables the company to observe and translate emerging global color trends for many applications in addition to automotive color such as consumer goods and industrial design.  It is this industry expertise that leads OEMs to take note of PPGs color forecasting trends.  Following are four categories presented to OEMs in 2018 that will influence automotive color trends through 2021 and beyond:

With Class: Centered around a contemporary version of classic elegance and refinement in our high-tech world, this theme comprises multicolored darks to express an exotic and sophisticated tone. The palette contains rich wood-inspired browns, warm sandy beiges and saturated jewel-toned reds. Metal inspired accents of copper and gold, often seen in PPG’s wheel coating applications, balance the darker shades.

With Out: A theme that connects with a design aesthetic that emphasizes minimalism, a “less is more” approach and a connection to the environment. This palette emphasizes simplicity and peacefulness. Organic greens, mixed browns, and soft stone-inspired hues work together to replicate the natural world.

With Spirit: This design theme addresses the rise of spirituality infused in the pursuit of community, mysticism and a fascination of the cosmos. The palette is a blend of intense, earth-toned hues with muted blue and purple shades. Authentic metal colors inspired by iron, gold and copper add a grounding element.

With It: This color collection reflects a design aesthetic that is youthful in spirit, playful, artistic and energetic. With overtly diverse and expressive colors, the chromatic palette creates abstract glamour and implies a contrast of strength and vulnerability. Layered color effects add dynamic intensity to traditionally primary hues, represented on the car’s body, custom wheel colors or interiors.

About Gipe Auto Color

With over 50 team members and 9 locations serving Kentucky, Southern Indiana, Southeast Illinois, and Northwest Tennessee, Gipe Auto Color is one of the largest PPG™ Platinum Distributors in the region.  We have seven dedicated tech reps certified in all PPG™ automotive refinish product lines.  Their primary duty is to help customers apply PPG™ coatings using techniques that ensure maximum performance day in and day out.

Our service does not stop in the paint shop. We offer assistance in process evaluation, development of standard operating procedures, inventory management, performance data analysis, and targeted improvement strategies with an emphasis on customer profitability.

For expert assistance with PPG software, online tools and resources, call 502.966.2384  Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.