2012 Volkswagen Beetle
For a full decade, silver has reigned supreme as the most popular car color in the world, but at long last, silver's reign of terror is finally over. According to data from PPG Industries, Planet Earth's new favorite car color is -- drumroll, please -- white.
PPG is a manufacturer of transportation coatings, and the company gathered the data from its global sales stats. Roughly 21% of the world's 2011 model-year vehicles were sold in white. But buck up, silver fans: your favorite came in just one point lower, tied with black for second place at a respectable 20%.
At first glance, this might not seem like earth-shattering news, but it's interesting for at least two reasons. For starters, it has some effect on the resale value of your vehicle. Own a car in white or silver? Chances are good that you'll get more cash for it than if the car were red or green or puce.
These color rankings are also interesting because of the cultural divides they highlight. For example, North America matches the global trend, with 20% of shoppers preferring white vehicles over silver (19%), black (18%), or gray (15%). In Europe, though, black cars continue to dominate, accounting for 26% of all new vehicles, leaving white's puny 19% in the dust. And in Asia, it's silver at 25%, topping white's 23%. Explaining those differences is probably best left to the sociologists, but it's good food for thought, nevertheless.
We should point out, however, that PPG isn't the only color manufacturer on the block. Dupont and others regularly issue their own assessments of the car paint market: stay tuned for updates in the early part of 2012.