Color is a massively important aspect of the car buying experience. According to a Kelley Blue Book study, trying to sell a car that is painted in an unpopular color will decrease the residual value of that vehicle by hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars depending on the vehicle and color.
That's not the only scary impact color can have on a vehicle through. A study by the Yankelovich Partners found that 39 percent of consumers were likely to change brands if they couldn’t get the color they wanted. That's a massive deal! We're not talking about brands dealing with recall issues or EVs vs. traditional vehicles. We're simply talking about how just the lack of a specific paint option causing someone to switch brands!
The Next Generation of Buyers
When purchasing a new vehicle, buyers want to feel as though their vehicle reflects their personality. Even more so, the same can be said for this next generation of buyers. Just look around you. Have you noticed the variety of color options you're seeing in everyday products? The newest cell phones now come in an array of colors. The fashion industry has exploded with bright, bold new colors. Video game companies are offering a library of colors to choose from for their controllers.
A vehicle's paint job isn't just meant to help protect the car's body, it's an expression of the buyer's individuality. The next generation of buyers love customization and the feeling of uniqueness. They don't want to feel like their vehicle is one of 10,000. This is going to pave the way that major car brands do business in the future.
With that all said, it's time to get into it. Here is our list of the top automotive trending colors of 2020. We also included the list of top 3 selling colors at the end of this post.
Trending Automotive Colors of 2020
Sky Blue / Cerulean
Pantone named classic blue as their 2020 color of the year, so it's no surprise that you're going to start seeing a lot more blue vehicles on the road over the course of the next couple of years. But, there are two shades of blue that we're most excited about - Sky Blue & Cerulean.
These shades make a bold statement that this new generation of consumers craves. What we're equally excited about is the use of complementary colors, like yellow and orange. With just the right amount of use, like powder coated brake calipers, these vehicles will become the roadmap towards bolder style vehicles.
Image: Rivian's R1T Truck
Designers and artists know how to use lightness and darkness to draw the eye. Luxury vehicles, like the Range Rover, took note of this and got the two-tone trend rolling.
The problem for mass production vehicles was that the paint process behind producing a two-tone vehicle took time and added costs. Fortunately for us, new methods, such as FCA's wet-on-wet process, have been developed to speed things up.
There's also another reason why the two-tone paint finish has risen so rapidly with consumers. While White and black remain the most popular vehicle colors, they've started to decrease in popularity. By adding a secondary color, like the black roof to the white body on the RAV4 pictured here, they're able to create a much more robust design element that makes the vehicle pop.
Image: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Automotive manufacturers have been pushing out more and more "limited blackout edition" models that feature black paint, black rims, and blacked-out interior accents.
Black enhances a car's curves and lines more than any other color, making the vehicle feel & look more expensive. Because of that, black vehicles tend to hold a higher premium compared to other colors.
The blackout styling demonstrates luxury, sophistication, and control, which is why we look forward to the trend continuing into 2021 and beyond.
Image: Honda Pilot Black Edition
Sage and Forest Greens
Sage and forest greens (and similar style greens) have been blowing up in popularity throughout a ton of industries. Whether we're talking about the new green iPhone, interior decorating, or throughout the fashion world, sage and forest greens are more in demand than ever before.
We're now starting to see more and more sage/forrest green vehicles hit the road. And because of this color's unique, stylish, and yet subtle visual addition on the road, we felt this color more than deserved a spot on our list.
Image: Volvo XC40 Recharge
Pictured: Tesla Model 3
2020 has been the year of the shades of blue. Deep blue easily deserves at least an honorable mention on this year's list.
Pictured: Honda Civic Hatchback
Blue-gray has the potential to grow in popularity as it is more of a unique, neutral color that stands out compared to traditional grays and blues.
Best Selling Car Colors in the U.S.
If you look around at all the cars on the road, this list should be no surprise. Black, white, and gray continue to dominate dealerships as the top 3 paint colors. Car buyers tend to see neutral hues as easier to clean, also knowing that they'll maintain their value better than a hot pink vehicle. These are safe color options that have dominated for the past 2 decades and will most like continue to do so for at least the next few years.
We're at the beginning of the next big shift in the automotive industry. A handful of new brands have emerged and in order to be seen, they're offering bold, new colors. And, we must say, we love what we're seeing. We've been stuck in the black, white, gray, and silver paint dominated world long enough. Will 2021 be the year we start to see the big shift?
About Echo Engineering
Echo Engineering has been the go-to industrial masking expert for automotive industrial finishers for over 50 years. We may not be paint color experts, but we know how to mask. Whether it's a large plastic tailgate panel going through a high temperature paint process or a high production brake caliper line needing critical surfaces masked off, our engineers have seen it all.
We take pride in the engineering expertise that we've developed over the years, the R&D we've invested in, and our new proprietary rapid silicone prototyping. A method that was rececently developed to speed up the manufacturing process. Our engineers are some of the best in the business, so if you have complex masking issues, chances are we can help.