BASF analyzes 2016 color trends in the European automotive sector




  • Color
    and individuality
    are key topics

  • Blue still the
    most popular chromatic

BASF’s Coatings
division, the European market leader on
color development for automotive OEM
coatings, presents the new “BASF
European Color Report For Automotive
OEM Coatings”. The report
provides detailed insights into the
colors sported by the cars on Europe’s
roads. It also highlights end
customers’ growing need for
individuality expressed by special
effects and a variety of


White is still the most
popular car color in Europe, with a
share of 29 percent, followed by
black with 19 percent and gray
with 18 percent. Nearly
80 percent of the automotive
colors in 2016 belong to the achromatic
color range. Among the chromatic
colors, blue continues to be the most
popular color, with 10 percent,
followed by red and brown. When the
vehicle segments are compared, the
following differences are observed:
While small cars are often finished in
white or chromatic colors, for SUVs,
gray is the predominant


Although the
distribution of colors in 2016 remained
nearly constant, there was an increase
in the color diversity within the color
ranges. The reasons for this are the
ongoing development of new colors, as
well as the high demand for special
effects across the board. Mixing
existing colors with different effect
particles produces customized pearl or
metallic effects. The wide range of
possible combinations gives rise to an
extraordinary abundance of color
variations. “This wide range of
possibilities for car colors also goes
hand in hand with the social megatrend
toward individualization. Nowadays, end
customers are able to select unique,
personalized colors for their
cars,” said Stefan Sickert, head
of Project Management Basecoat. In
addition to helping individualize a
car, effects also accentuate the body
shape and thus highlight the vehicle’s
character. Blue is the leading color in
terms of diversity with over 100 color
variations. Gray is close behind with
some 90 different shades.


With the analysis of
the distribution of automotive colors
in Europe, BASF’s European Color Report
supplements the facts contained in the
Automotive Color Trends published
annually by BASF’s Coatings division.
While the trend collection presents
color concepts that will shape the
automotive future, the Color Report is
concerned with the present-day market
situation and thus refers to the data
of the previous year.

» Download
BASF European Color
Report For Automotive OEM
pdf, 3 mb)


About BASF’s

The Coatings division
of BASF is a global expert in the
development, production and marketing
of innovative and sustainable
automotive OEM and refinish coatings,
industrial coatings and decorative
paints. We create advanced performance
solutions and drive performance, design
and new applications to meet our
partners’ needs all over the
world. BASF shares skills, knowledge
and resources of interdisciplinary and
global teams for the benefit of
customers by operating a collaborative
network of sites in Europe, North
America, South America and Asia
Pacific. In 2016, the Coatings division
achieved global sales of about
€3.2 billion.

In 2016, BASF acquired
Chemetall, a leading global supplier of
applied surface treatments for metal,
plastic and glass substrates in a wide
range of industries and end markets.
With this expansion in portfolio, BASF
becomes a more complete solution
provider for coatings.

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