Silver choice continues to reign supreme
The Motor Trade Association said New Zealand vehicle owners largely follow overseas markets, where despite having a large range to choose from, they generally play it safe and select from a narrow colour palette when it comes to the colour of their vehicle.
In data provided by leading transport coatings manufacturer PPG, silver had emerged as the world’s most popular vehicle colour for the 10th year running.
In 2010, silver’s popularity rose to the highest point since 1990 when PPG began records.
The company’s research said silver’s rise to prominence could be attributed to a dramatic growth in the popularity of the silver, grey and charcoal colour category which now accounts for 31 per cent of the North American market.
This is up from 25 per cent in 2009 and 20 per cent in 2008.
In Europe, silver and charcoal were most popular, accounting for 32 per cent of sales, followed by black at 24 per cent and white at 20 per cent.
This trend is mirrored locally with data provided by the Motor Industry Association showing that from 2007 until October of 2010, silver vehicles were easily New Zealand’s most popular, accounting for 27 per cent of the new vehicle market.
When grey and black vehicles are included, that figure rises to more than 57 per cent.
white and blue have slipped in the popularity stakes. Combined they made up just 35 per cent of the new vehicles sold in this period.
PPG manager Jane Harrington believes colour is becoming extremely important to the average consumer and this trend of tiresome colours will eventually die out.
‘‘Colour is an important component of how today’s car makers can define and differentiate a vehicle or brand in the marketplace. The palette of colours being developed for the automotive industry is clearly being influenced by culture, nature, fashions, movies, media, electronics and many consumer products,’’ said Ms Harrington.
Terry Honan, general manager of large Auckland dealership, Schofield and Co puts this local conservatism down to the aging population.
‘‘Most new car buyers are at the older end of the age scale, they’re conservative by nature, even if they’re buying a company car.
‘‘People want to protect resale values, so tend to go for colours that they see as already selling well second-hand,’’ Mr Honan said.
The relatively old age of New Zealand’s national fleet means that there is still an opportunity for those hankering for a view of the greens, golds, purples and yellows of the past but with the growing trend towards the silver and grey section of the colour-wheel, they may need to be quick.