World's Most Popular Car Colors, 2012

A few of the colors developed by PPG, a color-making company, for use on cars around the world are seen in this undated handout photo. (Courtesy PPG)

People the world over drive more white cars than any other color.

Mauve put in a strong showing; aubergine and puce moved up in the rankings. Vermillion did surprisingly well. But there was just no beating white, according to PPG Industries, a color, paint and coatings company headquartered in Pittsburgh, which every year surveys car buyers on their color preferences.

According to PPG's 2012 report, metal shades (gold, bronze and copper) increased in popularity.

In rank order, the colors most popular with drivers were: white (22 percent); silver (20 percent); black (19 percent); gray (12 percent); red (9 percent); natural (8 percent); blue (7 percent); green (2 percent); and 'other' (1 percent).

PPG every year hosts an Automotive Color Trend Show, at which it presents its findings and predictions about consumers' color preferences-not just for cars, but for products ranging from laptop computers to buildings, homes, airplanes and heavy equipment. The most popular color for heavy equipment is "Ouch,' a mixture of tan and yellow.

"The palette being developed for the automotive segment continues to be influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design, and new pigment technology," says PPG color manager Jane Harrington. The company itself introduced 64 new exterior shades this year, including Elixir, a metallic mixture of silver and magenta, and Opulence, a refined red pearl with intense jewel tone.

Of course some of the choice of colors may not be entirely up to consumers. Rental and fleet cars lean toward black and white because these paint jobs are cheaper than the vivid metallics.

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