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Cars in a wide range of white nuances will be a prominent feature of the roadscape in the future. This was one of the predictions made as part of BASF Coatings’ color trend forecast. But what color is dominating German roads at the moment? The German Motor Transport Authority’s 2006 statistics on new registrations of passenger cars by make and color reveal that Germany’s drivers are becoming increasingly bolder when it comes to color.

During 2006, the popular color silver-gray decreased slightly to 3.4 percent, but the shares of new cars painted orange, red, blue, purple, and even brown have clearly expanded compared to 2005. More than one-third of all newly registered cars have finishes in one of these colors.

The color orange experienced particularly rapid growth of around 285 percent. Ford’s blazing “Electric Orange” was used for the sports car “Focus ST” and is attracting the attention of the car buyers. BASF Coatings’ paint specialists worked with Ford to develop this attention-grabbing color, and the carmaker has selected the right color at the right time.

Drivers also express their individuality when buying a car. For car buyers, design and color are major factors. “Automotive paints don’t just serve to protect the vehicle, but also make a statement about the lifestyle of the driver, making them symbols of meaning" explains BASF Coatings color stylist Michaela Finkenzeller. In the sports car segment the rising demand for individuality is breaking up the familiar gray and black roadscape with colorful dabs of color. This also applies to the mini and compact car segments.

Overall, neutral colors continue to dominate the roads. Despite the slight drop in the number of silver-gray vehicles in 2006, this color was the leader among the newly registered cars at just under 43 percent according to the statistics of the German Motor Transport Authority. Black continues to be the second most popular color among drivers at approximately 28 percent. For customers purchasing cars in the luxury car segment, these two classic colors are de rigueur. Flashy colors are not on these customers’ wish lists.

Classy shades of white will be adding variety in the premium vehicle category in the long term. But white will become more and more interesting for all other automobile segments as well. As Michaela Finkenzeller explains, “White is actually a very distinctive color. In the automotive sector in particular, it stands out from the crowd.”

This is evidence that the decision to buy a white car is also a matter of individuality. Drivers who decide to go for white cars shrug off concerns about maintaining appearance as easily as they wipe dirty spots off the finish. While spots can’t be avoided, for white car fans, aesthetic purism is a higher priority than pure functionality.


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