Yet again, Americans prove they love boring car colors

Last year's top dog remained... white.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch
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2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch

An SUV... painted white. On brand, America.


America, you are milquetoast. Bland -- void of fun colors when it comes to picking out a hue for a new car. That's the core takeaway from the latest analysis of color distribution across the automotive industry, which chemical producer BASF distributes annually.

The top color of 2019 was none other than boring, old white. Every third car painted in North America, 29%, features a shade of white, according to the study, and a whopping 39% of all cars produced last year sport a white hue. The color was the most popular shade not only in the North America region, but also in Europe, Asia the Middle East and Africa.

Here's a broader picture painted exclusively in achromatic colors in North America: 77% of all cars built in 2019 are sprayed in white, black, silver or gray. That's not to say there aren't interesting shifts afoot in the color market. North Americans are leading the charge in a shift away from warm white colors to cool whites. It's especially true of luxury and electric vehicles, where pearly whites with blue tints are becoming increasingly popular.

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Since we're the world leader in pickup truck sales, the study also looked at what buyers prefer when it comes to their pickup's color. Black is king here, followed by white and then red. Good on you, America, you got at least a little bit of color in there.

Across the pond, another trend emerged: gray has become more popular and led to a decline in white's popularity. Beige has also become a weird breakout in popularity, charting significantly with 2% of cars in Europe.

For those actually looking to spice things up with color -- that'd be 22% of cars built last year -- blue is the most popular hue. When it comes to chromatic colors, blue took 9% of the total followed by red with 7%. More often than not, smaller vehicles were the models that happened to boast the most assortment of color choices.

Watch this: Will my car's color get me ticketed?