White is the new black

If you thought that it is just we Indians who love white cars, you couldn't be more wrong. The popularity of white is not confined to the Indian sub-continent alone and it is now spilling over to the EVs as well.

Aug 14, 2020 SHWETA BHANOT MEHROTRA No Comments Like

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Take a bow! We are a bunch of white car fanatics! According to a recent report by BASF (Color Report 2019 for Automotive OEM Coatings), Indian car buyers opted more for white over other colours in 2019. The share of the white in the overall car purchases increased from 43% in 2018 to 47% in 2019.  Meanwhile, silver (13%), grey (11%), red (9%) and black (7%) were other colours that figured in the top five most preferred colours of Indian buyers. 

White has been a perennial favourite of Indian buyers due to its low maintenance, easy availability, fuel efficiency and cost affordability. The colour has been seen by many as an epitome of power and authority.  However, the 2019 popularity and its acceptance even in Electric Vehicles (EVs) segment speaks volumes of the future customer preferences and choices. 

Interestingly, the popularity of white is not confined to Indian sub-continent alone, and it is on every second car in the Asia-Pacific region, and on every third car in North America and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), as per the BASF report.  

In 2019, about 39% of all cars built around the globe were painted white, while 9% of the vehicles produced globally were blue, and 7% were painted red. “Each addressing an emotional motive that goes with car ownership and individuality,” says the BASF report, adding that “although white is the most popular colour in every region, there are remarkable differences in the regional distribution.”

Indicating that the most popular colour for Hyundai cars in 2019 was white, which is followed by silver and stardust, Tarun Garg, Director – (Sales, Marketing & Service), Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), says, “Lighter shades such as white, silver have a high demand in the market, however, we feel that our new age customers are yearning to try exciting and fresh colours brought to them with our world-class products.” 

He adds that the trend in the case of EVs is the same as the other models with “white being a preferred colour alongside a developing demand for exhilarating new colours.” HMIL offers Polar White, Typhoon Silver, Marina Blue, Phantom Black and Polar White Dual Tone on its fully electric vehicle SUV, the Hyundai Kona. 

Meanwhile, the Denim Blue on Hyundai Venue, Starry Night on the New Verna, Phantom Black on the All New Creta and Teal Blue on the Grand i10- NIOS are among the most popular colours of customer choice. 

“A customer's colour preference entails many factors such as age, gender, persona, profession, purpose, etc. As a brand for value luxury aspirants like elite professionals and trailblazing entrepreneurs, Skoda Auto patrons hugely appreciate our range of sophisticated formal colour palettes like Business Grey, Candy White, and Magnetic Brown,” says a spokesperson at Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited. 

He adds that the colour of “what one drives reflects the persona of an individual and the purpose of its purchase. An automotive enthusiast, with passion for speed and power, will opt for Rally Green, Flash Red, or Race Blue. At the same time, Magic Black, Lava Blue, and Quartz Grey are popular options in our SUV range.” 

Considering a steady shift and increase in demand for electric vehicles, Skoda Auto spokesperson points that the colour preference will serve as a tool to 'make a statement'. “We will witness brighter and lighter shades like Candy White, Zelená Kiwi, and Brilliant Silver grabbing a lot of attention with the advent of electric vehicles.”

“The segment of the car plays a big role in the choice of the colour. As per the company’s trend study on customer’s buying behaviour, we have noticed that while colour choices are made depending on personal likes and dislikes, the suitability of a particular colour on a car has a lot to do with its segment as well,” says a spokesperson of Tata Motors Limited (TML).

Asked about customer preferences in EV segment, TML spokesperson says, “Our customers prefer colours that draw attention to the car. Shades of electric blue, turquoise and green are preferred colours for EVs since they help to visually differentiate them from ICE vehicles, making them stand out as a symbol of exclusivity.” The most preferred choice of colour on the Nexon EV is Signature Teal Blue followed by Glacier White and Moonlit Silver. Among other models, the Daytona Grey and Pearlescent White on Tiago, and Deep Red and Arizona Blue on Tigor are the most acceptable colours. 

“The Altroz has become an instant hit in its segment due to its Gold Standard of Safety, Design and Technology. This Gold Standard is very aptly communicated through the High-Street Gold color which makes this car a true hero on the road,” adds TML spokesperson. 

While the Foliage Green colour on Nexon SUV has seen a huge favourability, “customers continue to get fascinated by the Harrier Dark Edition in Atlas Black colour. At the same time, the bold Calypso Red color makes the vehicle stand out in the crowd and is much appreciated.”

Chiharu Matsuhara, Head of Design Asia Pacific / Coatings Color and Design, BASF, says, “Blue and white support the image of clean, pure and sustainable designs.” While, “Gray plays a considerable role for EVs, with unique effects such as semi opaque and silky colors which add to the futuristic image of new connected technologies, including ride-sharing and autonomous cars. New EVs are bringing new values and color design to the automotive industry as a whole,” Matsuhara adds.

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