DETROIT (Detroit News)--When it comes to cars, consumers around the world who are offered a wide palette of colors continue to choose white, according to an annual survey by paint supplier PPG Industries.

White retained the top spot for a second year, after unseating silver, according to the annual automotive color popularity and trend data released today. The findings are based on vehicles built this year.

Cars are not entirely bland. The survey shows overall use of color on the rise and metallics, including gold, bronze and copper, gaining in popularity.

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Core colors remain dominant: white is closely followed by silver, which shows off styling well, and then black, gray and red.

And there are regional differences. White was tops everywhere but in North America it is followed by black, silver and gray tie at 16% each while green snags 3%. White is the choice for many fleet vehicles, especially trucks.

Europe is tiring of silver, which drops to 13%; blue, natural -- defined as gold or tan -- and red are tied at 7% each.

Asia Pacific loves silver and white equally and 10% want natural while gray fades to 8%.

Color is one of the first things a consumer notices, said Jane Harrington, PPG's manager of automotive color styling. Color "is increasingly being used in everyday items from cell phones to large appliances, based largely on automotive trends."

The palette is influenced by culture, nature, fashion, interior design and new pigment technology such as the use of more metal flakes, Harrington said.

PPG released its findings at its annual Automotive Color Trend Show in Troy where 64 new colors from more than 20 color experts in six styling laboratories were introduced to automakers for consideration on 2015-16 model-year vehicles.

The new shades include Al Fresco which is a silver metallic with fresh green tint; Victoria Gray which is classic gray with some iridescent gold metal highlights; Opulence, which suggests an end to the recession by rewarding the consumer with a car in red pearl paint, or Elixir, which is a metallic mixture of silver and magenta.

"Our consumer research has clearly shown that color is critically important to car buyers," Harrington said.

A 2011 survey showed 77% said color was a factor in their purchase decision, especially those buying large luxury cars, sporty cars and large premium SUVs.

And while white is still the top choice, 45% said they would prefer a wider range of color choices.

Contact Alisa Priddle: 313-222-5394 or apriddle@freepress.com
More Details: White, by a whisker

Consumers still prefer white cars, the 2012 PPG Industries survey shows.

Here is how the colors broke down

White: 22%

Silver: 20%

Black: 19%

Gray: 12%

Red: 9%

Natural: 8%

Blue: 7%

Green: 2%

Other colors: 1%

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