When drivers see through gray-colored glasses

·1-min read
White is a top choice for new car purchases around the world, except in Europe where gray is king.

The color gray is trending around the world, according to a new report published by American paint manufacturer Axalta. The report shows that while white remains the favorite color of car drivers, its market share is weakening and gray is picking up the slack, with an increasing share. In Europe, it has even become the dominant color in the market.

This new report reveals that most cars on the road today are white (35%, down by 3 percentage points), black (19%) or gray (19%, up by 4 points). Silver (9%), blue (8%) and red (5%) follow. But just about everywhere in the world, what stands out is the increase in sales of gray-colored vehicles. In Europe, it has become the most popular shade for cars (27%), ahead of white (23%) and black (22%). Conversely, gray is least represented in Asia (13% of sales), a continent that is massively adopting white (45%), particularly in China (50%) although it has finally started to drop in share there.

Returning to Europe, where gray dominates, the color is most popular for compacts, sedans and sports cars. SUV buyers prefer white, while those who can afford a luxury car prefer black. By comparison, in the US, white wins in all categories.

The study doesn't indicate whether this trend for gray tone is related to the pandemic and the low morale of motorists.

Axalta has been providing these annual reports on car-buying color trends and preferences since 1953.

David Bénard

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