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Color Trends

Automotive Color Trends

PPG forecasts growth in green automobiles in 2018 and beyond

PPG's automotive color trends data notes a rise in popularity for green automobiles globally.

"While consumers are often choosing conservative colors for automobiles, such as white or black, green has historically been an incredibly popular color choice, particularly in the ‘90s," said Jane Harrington, PPG global manager, color styling, automotive OEM coatings. "Beginning in 1999, consumer preferences shifted to more neutral options, shrinking green’s popularity each year. While green makes up a small percentage of the current overall color preferences for 2018, future trends in the automotive industry are reflecting the popularity of green in home d├ęcor and wall colors, furniture, consumer electronics and more."

While monochromatic colors such as white, gray, silver and black continue to dominate globally, approximately two percent of SUVs in North America today are green. The color continued to have a strong presence at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, with featured applications on the Mercedes G-Class and iconic Ford Mustang Bullitt.

"Through PPG’s global color forecasting process, we noticed that complex neutrals and foliage-influenced greens continue to have a strong preference among consumers across various industries," said Harrington. "We are seeking retreats that shield us from competing priorities and the always-on digital society around us. This is very evident in architecture as new buildings are incorporating green walls and vertical gardens, and many skyscrapers include roof top green spaces. Consumers crave the calm and simplicity that is found in nature, and these preferences are impacting their color choices."

"We understand that today, car colors go beyond the body and can be represented in various areas – including the car’s interior, wheel coatings and more" said Jennifer Solcz, PPG global segment manager for wheels, industrial coatings. "Wheel coatings are becoming a focal point of individualization for car buyers, many of which are drawn toward metallics, such as bronze and rose gold, as well as vibrant multi-faceted colors and matte finishes."

PPG’s unique position as a color leader in multiple markets enables the company to observe and translate emerging global color trends for customers applications, including consumer goods, automotive color, as well as residential, commercial and industrial design. The color forecast is brought to life through four color stories under the "We are" theme. These colors represent trends for the automotive model years 2021 and beyond, and are presented to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in 2018-2019.


With Class: Centered around a contemporary version of classic elegance and refinement in our high-tech world, this theme comprises multicolored darks to express an exotic and sophisticated tone. The palette contains rich wood-inspired browns, warm sandy beiges and saturated jewel-toned reds. Metal inspired accents of copper and gold, often seen in PPG’s wheel coating applications, balance the darker shades.

With Out: A theme that connects with a design aesthetic that emphasizes minimalism, a "less is more" approach and a connection to the environment. This palette emphasizes simplicity and peacefulness. Organic greens, mixed browns, and soft stone-inspired hues work together to replicate the natural world.

With Spirit: This design theme addresses the rise of spirituality infused in the pursuit of community, mysticism and a fascination of the cosmos. The palette is a blend of intense, earth-toned hues with muted blue and purple shades. Authentic metal colors inspired by iron, gold and copper add a grounding element.

With It: This color collection reflects a design aesthetic that is youthful in spirit, playful, artistic and energetic. With overtly diverse and expressive colors, the chromatic palette creates abstract glamour and implies a contrast of strength and vulnerability. Layered color effects add dynamic intensity to traditionally primary hues, represented on the car’s body, custom wheel colors or interiors.

Because PPG’s paint colors are sold in more than 70 countries, developing color trends is a global, cross-cultural effort. Collaboration between PPG’s more than 20 color experts generates a fact-based approach to color trends and consumer preferences, resulting in a unified voice on color direction. The company’s color stylists around the world specialize in industries that include consumer electronics, architectural, automotive and aerospace. PPG experts study consumer mindsets, building material trends, wellness preferences and more to select a curated color forecast that resonates and is reflective of current consumer attitudes and spans cultures, regions and markets.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information on PPG’s automotive color trends, visit news.ppg.com/automotive-color-trends. For more information on PPG’s architectural coatings color trends, visit newsroom.ppg.com/2019colortrends.

Trending colors in the future

PPG Automotive Color Palettes for 2018-2019 Models

In response to continued demand for color innovation in automotive coatings, PPG introduced 64 exterior shades to manufacturers for consideration in styling 2018-2019 model year vehicles. Titled “AMPLIFY,” the collection includes four color-trend story palettes:

2018-2019 Automotive Color Palettes

In response to the continued demand for color innovation in automotive coatings, PPG has introduced more than 60 exterior shades to manufacturers for consideration in styling 2018-2019 model year vehicles. Titled “Colorography,” the collection includes five palettes:

  • Hyper HD is a colorful and impactful theme that welcomes self-expression, performance and modern technology. The palette includes an extroverted blend of virtual and real-world enhanced color – a mix of dazzling bright hues with the layered effects of tinted clears and tri-coats. LAUNCH PALETTE

  • IM Perfect is a global trend named as a play on words, celebrating the perfection of imperfections and authenticity in individuals living their best lives and focusing on their uniqueness with an emphasis on wellness. This more organic palette is influenced by nature, with somewhat subdued hues such as foliage greens as well as copper and brass metal tones. LAUNCH PALETTE

  • Knight’s Watch is a stronghold theme providing sturdy reassurance for safety and security through traditional colors representing refuge and confidence. Like a silent guard, the visual code of this palette communicates strength and protection with dark, dramatic jewel tones and blackened metal shades.LAUNCH PALETTE

  • Lucid Dreams reflects calmness, sensitivity and privacy, portraying a refuge from technology overload with fluid, graceful design. The palette consists of pastel tones with slightly more color as interpreted in metallic whites, mint greens, anodized gold/beige tones and sky blues. LAUNCH PALETTE

 Global Color Trends by Region