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White tops colour list

The reason for white's rise could be because it is identified as cutting edge ...
Paul Gover
CarsGuide

7 Oct 2011 • 2 min read

Australia's favourite car colour has just topped the global colour poll conducted each year since 1990 by PPG, the American automotive paint specialist. Silver had a decade of dominance but the 2011 results put white in first place, with around one-fifth of all new cars delivered in the climate-friendly colour. Black also equalled silver to claim second place in the global results.

The latest showing by silver shows that it could have peaked - despite the overwhelming number of prestige cars including BMWs and Mercedes- Benzes sprayed with silver - as its share of the car world peaked at 31 per cent in 2010 after rising steadily from 20 to 25 per cent in previous years.

The reason for white's rise, according to PPG's manager of colour styling and automotive coatings Jane Harrington, could be because it is identified as cutting edge. Apple computers have popularised white for years and the brand's iPad and iPhone sales are now skewed towards white over silver.

"Silver, at one time, was considered high-tech, innovative," Harrington says. "Think about white. What has Apple (made) their product in? White."

The latest PPG results also show that nearly half of all car buyers make choices based on colour, using an online poll that also shows 31 per cent of people are willing to pay extra for a vehicle with a colour that reflects their personality.

Holden has known this since the 1990s and it explains the company's success with hero colours for its Commodore, most recently the Perfect Blue chosen to make the fifth anniversary of Peter Brock's death and the latest update of the VE Holden.

The colour choices vary by region but white, silver and black are the top choices around the world. In the USA, PPG says white was top with 20 per cent of cars, followed by silver at 19, black at 18, grey at 15, red and blue tied on 9 per cent, then brown-tan-gold natural colours at 7 per cent and green well behind at just 2 per cent.