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March 17, 2021

Nissan Wants to Change Your Mind on Vehicle Colors

White was globally the most popular car color for more than a decade, but Nissan Global Color designer, Myung-Eun Lee, says this is shifting. She shares what got her into the automotive industry and her prediction of what could be the next new thing in vehicle colors.

“A car’s color can say so much about its owner,” Myung-Eun opens. From Seoul, now based in Japan, color designer Myung-Eun is always interested in Japanese design and culture after moving to Tokyo for three years in her childhood. This led her to change her career path and join Nissan in 2012.

“My first job was an Interior Architect but I always wanted to give myself a challenge, and move to another design field. So, I got a Master’s Degree in `Design Management,’ to broaden my horizons. After that, fortunately I was able to get an internship at Nissan as a color designer. That working experience at Nissan was so good and exciting. I decided to move to Japan and start my career as automotive color designer,” she says.

Myung-Eun notes that while white colors—including gray and black—are still the most popular colors in cars, she’s seeing more diversity particularly in the ASEAN region. More people, especially the younger generations are becoming more daring, and for her, it’s a reflection of them being more individual, or striving to be more memorable.

The hero or image color of the new 2021 Navara is a perfect example of that. The PRO-4X exclusive Stealth Pearl Gray not only gives a unique twist to the usual gray color, but adds contrasting orange highlights and red badging enabling it to easily stand out of the pickup crowd.

Other colors for the 2021 Navara include Aspen Pearl White, Forged Metallic Copper, Lunar Metallic Gray, Galaxy Black, Brilliant Silver, Alpine White, and Fiery Red.

Coming up with these color combinations isn’t easy though. Myung-Eun says that the process of choosing a color palette is extremely detailed as a car has to be comfortable, stylish, sporty, but be able to age nicely for many years.

“When we design the Color Material Finish (CMF), we first think about the concept we want to deliver through the product. We study the market needs and customer’s lifestyle carefully. Then, we build solid concept images and move on to create the color and material to match those images, which takes months of testing, trying,” she reveals.

Peering into her crystal ball, Myung-Eun predicts that copper body colors will become more popular, as well as bright, chromatic colors.


  1. The PRO-4X exclusive Stealth Pearl Gray looks cool and unique. But when it gets scratched or damaged, will fixing the paint cost the same as regular colors or will it command a premium price?

    1. Good question. I can ask Nissan if some sort of special technique is required to fix this color up. It is a Pearl color though so likely they'll be some sort of premium involved.


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