In the early days of the Automotive Industry car color choices consisted of black, black and black…, in part because the paint was cheap, durable and quick to dry. Over a hundred years later, auto engineers are finding a whole new way to be promote excitement and efficiency with paint and color.
One example is the infusion of paint with microscopic dots that can use solar energy to power the radio, or the infusion of volcanic rock particles that diffract heat.
Using quantum dots with paint could ultimately transform the entire surface area of your car into a solar collector say car engineers conducting research. Also that energy could then be fed into the car and power who knows how many components much as energy is transformed in the Prius hybrid technology.
Using volcanic rock and other minerals in paint would have a different effect: The rock could help reduce a car’s interior temperature thus requiring less air conditioning, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
It could be years before such “star trek” paint technology makes it to market. Other advances however are already making a profound impact on the color of cars and the choices people make.
In America car colors are beginning to be influenced by rich espressos, vibrant multicolored music devices and cell phones hues.
A New Black and White Concept
Vanilla white has long been considered boring to many Americans who associate it with rental or commercial vehicles. Thanks in part to special pearl and sparkle finishes, white is now the most popular car color in North America, according to DuPont’s most recent Automotive Color Popularity Report. Jazzing up vanilla white incorporates new paint finishes, called tri-coats, that include two layers of white paint — the second of which has the pearl or sparkle effect — topped by a clear coat. Blizzard Pearl is an upgrade finish available on many new Toyota models and has transformed everyday white into a complex color associated with luxury.
Black, the second most popular color according to DuPont, is also getting spruced up with a sparkle effect. Black has always looked luxurious and rich. When it’s clean, there is nothing finer. A prominent wealthy woman once said, “Always buy a black car; it ages well and you can never tell how old it is.”
After white and black, the next most popular car color in North America, according to DuPont, is silver, followed by blue, then gray, red, beige/brown, green and yellow/gold.
Until white hit the top of DuPont’s ranking a couple of years ago, silver was the most popular color in North America for seven years straight. “The bubble broke though; yet, silver is still a top color, just not No. 1 anymore. Gold and beige tones will bring some variety to the silver color palette in coming years and broaded its range
Neutral hues including white, black and gray are perennial favorites for car buyers and probably always will be, because people keep cars for relatively long periods of time, and owners don’t want to risk getting a wild color they might hate in a year or that might make the car hard to resell.
The current economic downturn is serving to “ramp up” consumers’ conservatism in color choices. When people buy now they are going to be more cautious about everything and are going to be conservative to get something that won’t look out of place in a few years.”
Who knows, if we can once again experience the time where people feel they have a chance to be the best that they can be, well maybe we’ll see bright colors like there were in the 1950’s except this time, full of “star trek technology”.