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Boring car colors still dominate sales

Posted by Bill Griffith  December 7, 2010 12:44 PM

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2010-new-england-auto-show.jpg

(David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)

Neutral and dark-colored cars line the 2010 New England International Auto Show.

Automotive ads in newspapers used to feature the bottom-line price for a stripped vehicle with the addendum: "Order in your choice of color."

Most buyers rarely choose that bright red or yellow. Instead, their preference remains silver (globally), white (North America), or black (Europe).

That information comes our way courtesy of DuPont's 58th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, an annual item that piques our curiosity.

Three years ago, silver led all regions of the world in popularity. The world's preference now is for neutral colors — silver, white, black, and gray — which represent 82 percent of all new car and truck sales. Red and blue follow well behind.

Silver took the top spot in North America back in 2000 when it overtook green (remember all those teal Chrysler products?). But white, with a 21 percent popularity share, now is North America's color of choice for the fourth straight year. That number undoubtedly is helped by fleet sales.

Silver is followed by black (18 percent), silver (17 percent), gray, and red.

Global Top 10 car colors

1. Silver 26%
2. Black / black effect 24%
3. White
16%
4. Gray 16%
5. Red 6%
6. Blue 5%
7. Brown/beige 3%
8. Green 2%
9. Yellow/gold 1%
10. Others <1%
This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
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Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
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AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
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