“BASF Color Report 2021”: Evolution of the popularity of automotive colors

14. Jan 2022 | Markets & Companies

According to BASF, overall vehicle production has decreased, which has led to changes in the popularity of certain color shades: Blue and red are currently enjoying particular popularity.

« BASF Color Report 2021: Evolution of Automotive Color Popularity

Chart source: BASF.

The total number of vehicles built on global assembly lines in 2020 and 2021 was significantly lower than in previous years. According to the company, this highlighted the popularity of certain color spaces in the “BASF Color Report 2021 for Automotive OEM Coatings,” while knocking some perennial favorites down a few points.

Achromatic colors – white, black, gray and silver – are still the most popular. But some cracks appear in their armor as new color spaces emerge. As BASF designers predicted years ago, blue takes a while in the sun. Red is also on the rise, taking market share from achromatic colors in many parts of the world. Even though the numbers are smaller, green and beige still appear in the data.

EMEA – Greater diversity of colors and chromatic shades

The share of chromatic colors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is now over 27% and growing – the highest in two decades. Blue is driving the trend among chromatics. There are currently nearly 180 shades of blue ranging from sky blue to midnight blue. Red comes in second place, far behind blue, accompanied by a good share of shades of green. For achromatic colors, white is still the most popular, but gray is catching up. Gray has several options, with effects and textures that multiply its presence.

“Colors designed for EMEA use familiar color positions, but change them up using new effects, subtle color gradients, or specific glow behavior. They make chromatics stand out as bold expressions of individuality and sportiness, gaining popularity every year,” said Mark Gutjahr, Head of Automotive Color Design, EMEA.

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