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GROWING NUMBER OF VEHICLES GREEN, BUT WHITE STILL NO. 1

 TROY, Mich., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- While the No. 1 vehicle color choice in 1992 continued to be white, dark and medium greens made significant gains in North America, according to DuPont's annual survey of vehicle color popularity.
 An average of 23 percent of consumers chose white for luxury cars, full/intermediate cars, sport/compact cars and light trucks/vans. While white got high marks in the truck/van segment, it lost some ground in the three passenger car categories.
 However, the big news in 1992 vehicle colors was the momentum of green.
 "Green, on average, jumped to the top five consumer color selections for all four vehicle categories," said Robert S. Daily, finishes color marketing manager for DuPont Automotive. "This is a significant increase. Last year, green was only a small percentage of the full/intermediate and truck/van categories. And it didn't even make the luxury or sport/compact lists."
 Last popular in the late '60s and early '70s, the greens of 20 years ago were yellow green. Daily said today rich, dark blue-greens are the color of choice. He added that the influx of green in the automotive industry was led by trends in the fashion and home furnishings industries.
 Roseann Forde, fashion director of women's apparel for DuPont Fibers, attributed the popularity growth of green to two things: an increased interest in environmental preservation and increased feelings of uncertainty.
 "Green symbolizes harmony and counteracts emotional stress," Forde said.
 "The last time green was popular, there was a great deal of turbulence," she said. "The Vietnam War was under way, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were both assassinated, and there was a lot of social unrest.
 "While we don't have that same kind of social turbulence today, there is a great deal of economic turbulence," Forde said. "The past few years have been a time of corporate downsizing. People are worried about finding or keeping their jobs. And their financial security is uncertain."
 As green gained ground, however, other colors faltered. While medium and dark shades of both red and blue retained their ranking as favorites in the color survey, they lost percentage points as a result of increased interest in green. Likewise, neutral colors, like silver and gray, also dropped somewhat.
 In line with greens, Daily said '92 saw a marked increase in greenish-blue hues of turquoise/aqua for sport/compact cars. "Aqua made some inroads to the full/intermediate category," he said. "However, the most significant change came in the smaller, sportier cars, where we're seeing brighter, more chromatic shades of aqua."
 DuPont tracks and analyzes color trends in high fashion, graphic arts and home and commercial furnishing fields to develop its annual palette of new automotive color offerings. As the leading supplier of topcoat finishes in North America, DuPont is now showing automakers more than 150 new colors for the 1996 model year.
 Based on his research, Daily predicts the following trends:
 -- Greens will retain their popular position for several years. Growth may continue, but in smaller increments to the jump seen in '92.
 -- Color in the light truck/van category will continue as a high priority in consumer purchase decisions, as these vehicles continue to move from a strictly utilitarian use to the mainstream.
 -- Colors will tend to be somewhat less chromatic in full/luxury category. Instead, we will see a dustier/chalkier look that will appear first with various shades of blue. This is consistent with current trends in designer fashions and interior design.
 -- Red shades will shift from blue-reds to warmer-appearance yellow- reds. Reds will maintain their vibrance and chroma in straight shades, as well as metallics.
 -- Dark, rich purples and mid- to reddish-yellows (both pale and chromatic) will emerge in the next three to five years. Change will be seen in 1993.
 Based in Troy, DuPont Automotive offers a full line of environmental finishes technologies as part of the 110 product lines it supplies to the worldwide automotive industry. These include finishes, plastics, elastomers, fibers, advanced composites, fabricated products, refrigerants, speciality chemicals and lubricants.
 DuPont's automotive sales worldwide were more than $3.2 billion in 1992.
 1992 COLOR POPULARITY
 LUXURY FULL/INTERMEDIATE
 Market Market
 Color Share Color Share
 (percent) (percent)
 1. White 21.57 1. White 22.50
 2. Silver 10.25 2. Medium Red 11.78
 3. Medium Red 9.84 3. Silver 8.75
 4. Light Brown 9.75 4. Medium Gray 7.38
 5. Green 7.55 5. Green 6.50
 6. Light Blue 6.75 6. Light Brown 6.32
 7. Black 6.42 7. Light Blue 5.85
 8. Dark Blue 6.34 8. Dark Red 5.57
 9. Medium Gray 5.82 9. Bright Red 4.88
 10. Dark Red 3.86 10. Dark Blue 4.50
 11. Medium Blue 2.99 11. Black 4.01
 12. Taupe 2.81 12. Medium Blue 3.55
 13. White Metallic 2.53 13. Bright Blue 3.45
 14. Purple 1.65 14. Aqua 2.67
 15. Bright Red 0.79 15. Medium/Dark Brown 0.75
 16. Medium/Dark Brown 0.46 16. Beige 0.42
 17. Yellow Metallic 0.33 17. Other 1.10
 18. Beige 0.21
 19. Yellow 0.08
 SPORT/COMPACT TRUCK/VAN
 Market Market
 Color Share Color Share
 (percent) (percent)
 1. White 19.29 1. White 29.72
 2. Bright Red 12.39 2. Medium/Dark Red 11.00
 3. Medium Red 10.60 3. Green 9.24
 4. Turquoise/Aqua 7.96 4. Red 9.08
 5. Light Blue 6.82 5. Black 9.01
 6. Medium/Dark Gray 6.75 6. Medium/Dark Blue 7.01
 7. Green 6.28 7. Medium/Dark Gray 4.96
 8. Medium Blue 5.36 8. Bright Blue 4.18
 9. Silver 4.94 9. Light Brown 4.15
 10. Black 4.47 10. Silver 3.87
 11. Bright Blue 4.32 11. Light Blue 2.59
 12. Light Brown 2.85 12. Medium/Dark Brown 1.79
 13. Dark Blue 2.02 13. Teal 1.14
 14. Dark Red 1.61 14. Beige 0.53
 15. Yellow 0.23 15. Other 1.73
 16. Other 4.10
 -0- 2/1/93
 /CONTACT: Megan A. O'Brien of DuPont Automotive, 313-583-8199/


CO: DuPont Automotive ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SM -- DE024 -- 1506 02/01/93 15:40 EST
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