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BASF Color Report analyzes 2016 color distribution in the European automotive sector

More color diversity, more individuality – and the right refinish solution from Glasurit for every variant

What colors are sported by the cars on Europe's roads? The new BASF European Color Report for Automotive OEM Coatings provides the answer to this question. For the report, BASF's Coatings division, the European market leader in color trends for automotive OEM coatings, analyzed the distribution of automotive colors in Europe in 2016. The report demonstrates end customers' growing need for individuality expressed by special effects and a variety of colors.

White is still the most popular 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 color.

The most popular colors – 100 blues and 90 grays

Although the distribution of colors in 2016 remained nearly constant, there was an increase in the color diversity within the color ranges. The reason for this is 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.

Glasurit – the right color solution for every variant

The trend toward greater color diversity and individuality poses great challenges for bodyshops. After all, it's their job to blend a refinish job into the appearance of the vehicle's paintwork as invisibly as possible. BASF's premium brand Glasurit supports them in this, offering the right refinish solution for every automotive color. Glasurit's connection to BASF means that it is close to the market and trends at all times and is in a position to develop the perfect refinish solution for new colors in good time.

And with Glasurit's Color Online database, bodyshops can find the OEM and special colors of nearly all automotive manufacturers worldwide – updated on a daily basis. Individual colors can be stored here, too. "This allows us to cater to the growing individualization of automotive colors and ensure that bodyshops can quickly find a solution for any color," explained [Jürgen Book, head of the Refinish Competence Center].