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BASF and DuPont car color reports show new options emerging.

Silver is forever and it does not show the dirt. So is that why it is still the world's leading color? According to industry reports, the top three colors--silver at 20%, white at 18%, black at 11%--will be challenged by more lively, vibrant colors. Blues, dark grays, and more metallic paints will continue to grow in popularity, based on recent reports published by both DuPont and BASF.

The DuPont automotive color popularity report shows medium-dark gray significantly moving up the color ladder. When enhanced with metallic effects, it can retain the technical sophistication of silver and provide a sense of richness to a vehicle's appearance. According to BASF's forecast, exotic colors that are festive and jewel-like are the trend for future colors. Blues continue to be popular, and BASF's report of the coming demand for sparkle, glitter, and more metallic is driving the company's research and development effort.


BASF has two automotive coatings in the works based on what they see as emerging color trends. The first is a powder coating that creates a metallic effect usually attainable only with tri-coat liquid systems. Reportedly, this new coating will provide a rich appearance, the durability of liquid finishes, and will retain the environmental benefits of a powder coating. The second technology involves microscopic aluminum flakes to produce premium "holographic" colors. These coatings reflect rainbow-like highlights, the illusion of three-dimensional depth, and will appeal to the customer's desire for more glitz. Dazzling technology appears to be an emerging trend according to BASF, whether it is in new colors or is used to enliven the traditional whites and silvers so popular today.

BASF develops its forecast based on a combination of sales data, global research on trends and consumer preferences in the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and from industry background and knowledge.

DuPont's report shows the formerly popular green has dropped out of the top 10 colors for luxury vehicles and reds have changed to the cooler, bluish hue. More expressive colors, such as yellow, which has emerged as a top-10 color for sport vehicles, indicate an increased sense of adventure among automotive stylists. New treatments for the classic silver, white, and black included high-chroma formulas, white pearl tri-coats, and tinted clearcoats that provide deeper, richer and more luxurious color. Two-tone color schemes that enhance the styling and broad vertical surfaces of the crossover vehicles, trucks, and SUVs have been observed by DuPont. Their "one-pass" system allows auto manufacturers to effectively paint two-tone vehicles different colors in one, time saving step.

The 2003 Dupont Automotive Color Popularity Report includes both American and European color trends, and it has become a baseline for analyzing and predicting vehicle color over the past 50 years.

Strong vehicle identity remains the goal for both manufacturer and consumer. Rich appearance and high durability stay high on the list of must-haves when it comes to the coating technology sought for future cars, trucks, or SUVs.
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Title Annotation:Business & Industry
Publication:JCT CoatingsTech
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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