Most of the cars around the world are painted in just a few achromatic tones - colors that are not that colorful: white, black, gray and silver.
According to data compiled in 2019 by coatings company BASF, 39% of the cars in the world are white; black, gray and silver together make up another 39% of cars on the road - making nearly 80% of all vehicles painted with achromatic lacquer, reports the CNBC.
The reasons for this are varied, say some in the coatings industry. Risk-averse dealers might choose to stock the most popular colors, thus limiting the overall supply of unusual hues. Risk-averse consumers might worry about an odd color driving down resale value.
But coatings makers insist that present colors are more nuanced and varied than statistics show. White is not merely white, nor are black, gray or silver uniform colors. Coatings can be tweaked in all sorts of ways — by adding effects, such as metal flake or bits of glass or mica.
Color shades can also be tweaked — adding a slight bluish tint to white evokes a futuristic look, while a slightly yellower white conveys luxury. These changes are subtle, but they do act on the perceptions of customers, and automakers are often very specific about what kind of color they are looking for. It is the first thing a buyer really notices.
BASF's data also said that the most popular chromatic color is blue — about 9% of cars come in that color, and just 7% of vehicles are painted red.