Skip to main content


BASF presents the Automotive Color Trends 2019-20

Glasurit develops refinish solutions for the cars of the future

In June, BASF’s Color Design team presented new colors and color concepts for the automotive industry. The ninth edition of the global Automotive Color Trends is characterized by the commitment to actively shaping the future and shows what colors will meet the zeitgeist of tomorrow. While it will still take a while until they are ready for OEM application as automotive colors and can be seen on the roads, BASF’s premium brand Glasurit is already working today to provide perfect refinish solutions that will be ready at the start of OEM production.

 ACT/9, the title of the Automotive Color Trends 2019-20, is a demand to shape the future with an active attitude. By analyzing technological trends and societal changes, the designers at BASF’s Coatings division translated this drive into a collection of future color inspirations for automotive surfaces. Four design studios from North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific worked within this collaboration. The focus on these regions creates a profound understanding of the respective markets and its color drivers. The global color trends mirror the positive commitment towards connecting digital innovations with human needs. The increasing relevance of digitalization underlines the acceptance of computer-based support. A decisive rethinking of resources is molding new product landscapes and consumption patterns.

A diverse range of colors signposts openness to digital progress 

 Multiple hues and distinctly different levels of chroma characterize the open-minded attitudes to advances in digitalization. Digital support is now seen as a natural part of life and its influence continues to grow. The coloration of future mobility, therefore, needs to take on a warmer and more approachable look. Atypical automotive color positions like yellowish off-tones and complex goldish metals comply with these directions. 

Varieties of metallics mirror consumer commitment to societal change

The color trends reflect designers’ observations of an increasing desire to make essential changes. This impacts not only general consumption patterns and behaviors but also personal objectives. Since lifelong jobs are rare for many younger people, straight biographies are superseded by multifaceted life styles – what is now referred to as the “slash” generation. This requires flexible attitudes towards mobility patterns. The attitude of the slash generation is geared towards flexibility and creativity, offering the right balance between work and leisure. This interplay is captured through a series of metallics and solid colors ranging from light to dark shades. In addition, numerous consumer and industry driven initiatives promote the profound rethinking of material life cycles. The designers of BASF’s Coatings division transform these impulses into innovative color concepts combining the aesthetic with sustainable solutions.

 EMEA – Defining new standards

The immensely positive vibe is an indication for the upcoming changes of societal conventions in EMEA, in which unique color positions like violet metallic can become more common. One of the facets emphasizing this optimism is the continuously increasing importance of individuality for design concepts which is reflected in complex metallics in the beige and gold color space. Another aspect of life in in this region is the exploration of human needs in the context of increasingly automated mobility. Therefore, a selection of colors in EMEA are characterized by an artificial look which deletes effects but adds functionality. This also underlines the approach to pursue progressive ideas.

Color expertise of the Coatings division

 Every year the designers of BASF’s Coatings division translate their findings and predictions of technological and societal change into a collection that will influence automotive colors three to five years into the future. They undergo intensive research into future trends which they use as foundation for the development of surface, texture and color positions. As a result, the designers present global trends and developments within the regions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (AP) and North America (NA).

From color trend to refinish solution

 BASF uses its color trend collection to show what color worlds and effects reflect the zeitgeist of the near future in the three large regions. Automotive manufacturers can use fresh, trendy colors like these to accentuate the character of their new models and, at the same time, be sure that they will meet the taste of potential buyers in three to five years. That’s how long it takes for new color trends to be translated into real trend colors. During this time, with the color design team’s input, new colors are refined in collaboration with the carmakers until they are ready for OEM application and are subjected to strict quality tests along the way.

As BASF's premium brand with excellent relations to automotive manufacturers, Glasurit is always up-to-date about all development steps. This close involvement enables Glasurit to use the technologies and know-how from OEM coatings production in order to develop perfect refinish solutions for the market early on. Glasurit customers can thus be sure that a refinish solution with top Glasurit quality will also be available for the most up-to-date OEM and special colors – worldwide.