People Don’t Mind the Color of Their Car, As Long as It’s White. Or Gray


The famous Henry Ford’s “A customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black” still holds water today, even though modern technologies allow cars of today to be custom-color painted. People’s preferences have not moved much, though. White, gray, and black continue to be the most popular car paints in 2021, as shown in the latest Axalta report. Car customization has gone a long way and yet most people rarely choose anything fancy beyond the wheel’s model or the paint color. The latter one is a major deciding factor for most people presented with a choice of car colors on the showroom floor. Worldwide, 88% of people say color is the key factor when buying a new vehicle, although this is less important in the U.S., at 79%. And yet, little variations are allowed, with people fixated on just a few non-colors, completely ignoring the flashier options. This is the main take from this year’s Axalta Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, which shows 35% of the world’s cars are white, 19% are black, 19% are gray and 9% are silver. Of course, the percentages vary a little going from a region to another, but you get the (black-and-white) picture. When it comes to North America, the more adventurous spirit of people here stands out, with more red cars on the road than anywhere else – 8% versus 5% worldwide. America’s favorite car paint is white (28%), followed by gray (21%) and black (20%). One in ten cars on American roads is blue, just as many as those painted in silver. All other colors fall into the “others” category, with only 11% overall. What’s more surprising is finding out 25% of Americans would consider repainting their cars. Even though 30% of those would choose black, we also see blue and red at 16% and 15% respectively. The colors people choose also depend on the body style of the car, with sports cars being the most colorful of them all. Trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and luxury car buyers favor white, black, gray, and silver, although the latter has decreased in popularity this year.