Saturday, December 08, 2007

Global Trends in Car Colors and Korea

Global Car Color Trends and Korea, some insights

I watch Korean popular culture and its impact on the market. I found this article on trends in car colors interesting. Note Koreans see Silver as a sophisticated color. Status drives much in Korea.

Hanguk Ilbo notes....
Silver is no longer the people's choice as their favorite car color in the U.S., Europe and Japan, but despite the global fadeout, a recent report says the shimmery hue is still selling strong in Korea.

The 2007 Global Automotive Color Popularity Report released by DuPont, a leading maker of automotive paints and coatings, said silver _ the most favored color for the past seven years worldwide _ has been toppled by white in some of the biggest car producing countries.

An iridescent version of white accounted for the color of 19 percent of vehicles built in North America this year, beating out silver by a small margin of 1 percentage point.

Although the gap isn't significant, industry watchers emphasize the change because silver was the longest-running top color among all consumers.

``The change follows a global trend in home furnishings, fashion, consumer products and industrial design where we're seeing a return to white as a clarifying agent for change, a color of purity and minimalism,'' Leatrice Eiseman executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and the author of ``Color: Messages and Meanings.''

Although the shift is evident in the world's biggest markets, the survey indicated that South Korean consumers still side with silver, as almost 40 percent of cars built in 2007 were coated in the color.

``White was actually big here back in the 90's but starting in the 2000's, customers began to prefer silver for its sophisticated look,'' said a spokeswoman of Hyundai Motor, the nation's largest car maker.

She added that silver requires less car washing, while returning a higher reselling price in the used car market.

``For example, they say that a silver Avante sells at about 100,000 more than like models of different colors,'' she said, explaining that local buyers are still a little less adventurous and prefer practicality.

The annual report, which stands as an industry standard for analyzing and predicting vehicle color trends based on customers' choices, anticipates that black and black metallic shades will soon rise in popularity.

Another noteworthy trend is that despite the booming eco-friendly initiatives worldwide, the color green apparently isn't attractive on cars, as it came in last in terms of popularity with just 2 percent of consumer approval.

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