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Axalta’s “Global Automotive 2016 Color Popularity Report” Shows Strong Preference for Neutrals …. but Color Coming Back

Clinton Township, Michigan, USA – 12 December 2016: Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, today released its Global Automotive 2016 Color Popularity Report which confirms a continued global pre-eminence by white, while hints of colourful hues enliven traditional neutral colours to bring colour back into the mainstream.

“We are seeing a clear preference for the neutral shades, but there is a catch,” explains Nancy Lockhart, Axalta’s Color Marketing Manager for North America. “We are seeing colourful hues being added to these neutrals to create eye-catching tones. Watch for tints and effects to add depth and beauty to these neutrals in the future.”

Regional highlights from Axalta’s 2016 Color Popularity Report include:

  • Worldwide: White stays in first place on nearly four of every 10 new vehicles.
  • Africa: Light colours are most favoured here: silver and white combined make up 63 percent of new purchases.
  • Asia: In China, more than half of vehicles sold are white. Solid white is more popular than pearl white by more than 39 percentage points. Conversely, Japan prefers pearl white (27 percent) to solid white (seven percent).
  • Europe: At 17 percent, grey is more popular here than any other region. Black is declining and now seven percentage points behind first place white.
  • North America: Grey is making a mark rising two percent in popularity and lengthening its lead over silver.
  • Russia: Beige/brown is at eight percent, just as in China. No other region reaches that mark.
  • South America: Green comes in at five percent, tied with Russia for green’s most popular regions.

According to Elke Dirks, Automotive OEM Colour Designer for Axalta’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Axalta uses the colour popularity data to assist customers in decision-making. “Our trend reporting enables Axalta to be nimble as we work with automakers on future colours,” she said. “Understanding consumer preferences and trends provides insights that help us forecast where consumer choices may be heading in the years to come.”

“Consumer appreciation of colour nuances such as the differences between solid and pearlescent white across Asia reflects the subtle differences among consumer preferences,” added Annie You, Axalta OEM Colour Designer based in China. “Awareness of these differences provides a constant reminder that we need to continually review our colour palette to keep pace with discerning car buyers and with the automakers who rely on Axalta for colour choices.”

Axalta’s full Global Automotive 2016 Color Popularity Report can be viewed and downloaded here:


About Axalta Coating Systems – Celebrating 150 Years in the Coatings Industry


Axalta is a leading global company focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colourful, beautiful and sustainable solutions. From light OEM vehicles, commercial vehicles and refinish applications to electric motors, buildings and pipelines, our coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enable the materials we coat to last longer. With 150 years of experience in the coatings industry, the approximately 12,800 people of Axalta continue to find ways to serve our more than 100,000 customers in 130 countries better every day with the finest coatings, application systems and technology. For more information visit and follow us @Axalta on Twitter and on LinkedIn.