SEDUCED BY BLACK
LACK cars are like black lingerie — they convey a sense of mystery, sophistication and seduction.
The colour of car you buy says a lot about what type of person you are, according to post-graduate research student Andrew Golledge of the Queensland University of Technology.
Golledge, who has 10 years’ experience in the motor industry working mainly with accidents and breakdowns, recently bought a black Mitsubishi Lancer.
‘‘Every man has to have a black car once in his life,’’ he said.
‘‘Black cars talk about mystery, sophistication and seduction.
‘‘It’s the idea that the colour represents. Black silk sheets on a bed, black lingerie. ‘‘These are sensual things.’’ However, the most popular colour choice across the industry is silver which Golledge said reflected prestige.
‘‘So does champagne gold and, to a lesser extent, beige,’’ he said.
B‘‘These are the colours of jewellery and they exude professionalism and prestige. ‘‘Is it any wonder Audi uses silver in all of its promotions?’’
Silver is also considered a practical and safe colour.
‘‘There was some research done in New Zealand a number of years ago which indicated silver is the safest colour to drive,’’ he said.
‘‘They are involved in fewer accidents and less-serious accidents compared with the next safest which is white.
‘‘Green, brown and black are involved in the most accidents, so visibility obviously has an impact.
‘‘We humans have a problem perceiving differences of speed in green cars, maybe because of grassy backgrounds, I’m not sure.
‘‘Black is a more obvious thing — when it’s dark you just don’t see a black car as easily.’’
Golledge said men and women perceive car colours differently.
‘‘We have stereotyping in our West- ern society and generally it is the man who cleans the car, and I might get into trouble for saying that, but it is one of the criteria they consider when buying a car.
‘‘Men and women tend to buy different colour cars. You won’t see too many men driving a pink car.
‘‘Women are more attracted to the more belonging colours such as blue which appeals to our sense of reliability and belonging, or yellow which appeals to warmth and happiness. ‘‘There are also a lot of orange cars on the road at the moment and that’s all about playfulness.’’
Golledge said white cars were the most practical because they faded less in the sun and were cooler.
‘‘You are not appealing to any emotion when you buy a white car,’’ he said.
‘‘It is a very neutral colour and you are not expressing your personality.
‘‘Often you find that white is the only free colour these days and you have to pay extra for metallic and other colours.’’
‘‘They are also perceived as being easier to clean, but that is maybe false.
‘‘But the main advantage of a white car is that it is perceived to hold its value better.’’
Golledge also believes more white cars will have been sold in the past 18 months of the global financial crisis, mainly by businesses cashing in on the government’s tax incentive package.
Holden external communications director Emily Perry said the most popular Holden colours continued to be black (phantom), white (heron) and silver (nitrate), but white was growing in popularity.
‘‘It is a pragmatic choice for many buyers,’’ she said. ‘‘It is easy to keep clean, offers good visibility and good for resale value.
‘‘Interestingly though, there is also a growing trend among luxury and performance enthusiasts to order white vehicles, a trend we see among European marques as well.
‘‘In many cases white is becoming the new black.’’
Bought by both men and women and usually found on family cars. It stands for reliability. Those who choose blue are looking at a more social or belonging aspect. Some also think blue is cool, as in temperature.
Bought equally by men and women. There has been an upsurge in green cars lately which could challenge the traditional notion of green being related to wealth. These days green is more about the environment. It is no coincidence that Ford is promoting its Econetic Fiesta with a green car.