Colour. It’s probably the first thing we notice about a new car and it plays a huge part in creating a vehicle’s character. Cars have come a long, long way since the early days of the auto industry when Henry Ford said his customers’ options were “any colour so long as it’s black”. Just like exterior and interior design, colour design shapes the way we feel about a product. And there’s much more to it than picking shades from a paint chart.
Because colours are selected during the production process, car manufacturers must both set and predict new trends. Colours used in a car’s marketing, for instance, are often the highest selling for that model. And the more the bestseller is seen, the more popular it becomes.
Although conservative colours – white, black, grey and silver – tend to dominate the market, trends emerge from time to time. Certain hues fall in and out of favour and some drivers will always prefer to stand out from the crowd or make a statement with more striking colours. Vivid colours, like the bold metallic yellow seen on the recent special-edition GT86 Giallo often signify sportiness and, with only 86 being made, exclusivity. A manufacturer’s cars can also become associated with its racing colours such as Toyota’s traditional white and red track livery; the colours of the Japanese national flag.
But it’s not just sportscar owners who like their vehicles to have personality and presence. Toyota’s AYGO x-cite turned heads when it was launched with the adventurous Orange Twist paintwork, and the new, updated x-cite has followed in its extrovert tyre-tracks with a striking Cyan Splash colour.