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January 24, 2023

White Is The Most Popular Car Color, But In Asia-Pacific, Gray Is Surging

Achromatic colors still dominate the global automotive market, but more daring shades are starting to find their way to customer driveways. This is based on German chemical giant BASF’s 2022 Color Report for Automotive OEM Coatings.

According to the report, the majority of non-commercial vehicles were finished in shades of gray—white, black, silver, and gray and this is down to its “classic, timeless beauty and high resale value.”

And even when buyers didn’t go for any achromatic colors, they often went for blue or red. That said, other chromatic colors like yellow, orange, green, and violet are all gaining market share in most regions of the world, showing that carmakers are embracing a wider range of diversity and breadth of color than before.

Drilling down to a regional basis, buyers in the Asia-Pacific region still go for white with a whopping 45 percent of buyers going for that shade. This is followed by black with 18 percent.

An interesting trend is the rise of gray. According to BASF, that shade is the “it color” in Asia-Pacific markets, rising 6 percent in popularity at the expense of blue, red, gold, and brown.

Gray’s rise in popularity is down to the diversification of the color. Today, gray can be had with blue or violet undertones. Other carmakers even offer it with solid-like or pearlescent effects.

BASF notes an emergence of brown, green, and violet among Asia-Pacific buyers, especially with the rise of small vehicles and New Energy Vehicles, especially battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Nonetheless, they still account for just 1 percent each.

Elsewhere, in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), white and black are the two most popular colors, while gray and silver lost market share. Among chromatic colors, blue still has the commanding lead, but it’s starting to lose popularity in favor of orange, yellow, brown, and green.

In North America, achromatic colors also dominate, but surprisingly, they start to lose share in larger vehicles. This has allowed earthy tones like beige, brown, and green to increase. Blue has also widened its lead over red.

Finally, in South America, where buyers tend to go for less flashy colors, white is still by far the favorite followed by gray and black.

For chromatic colors, red and blue were stable, while brown gained some market share. Those colors were most likely chosen for smaller vehicles. Larger cars and SUVs had the highest share of achromatic colors, including new and varied effects for gray featured on larger cars.

2022 Most Popular Car Colors


  • White – 45 percent
  • Black – 18 percent
  • Gray – 15 percent
  • Silver – 6 percent
  • Blue – 6 percent
  • Red – 4 percent
  • Brown – 1 percent
  • Green – 1 percent
  • Orange – 1 percent
  • Yellow – 1 percent
  • Beige – 1 percent
  • Violet – 1 percent
Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)
  • White – 29 percent
  • Gray – 19 percent
  • Black – 19 percent
  • Silver – 10 percent
  • Blue – 11 percent
  • Red – 5 percent
  • Green – 2 percent
  • Orange – 2 percent
  • Yellow – 1 percent
  • Brown – 1 percent
  • Beige – 1 percent
North America
  • White – 33 percent
  • Black – 22 percent
  • Gray – 15 percent
  • Silver – 8 percent
  • Blue – 10 percent
  • Red – 7 percent
  • Green – 2 percent
  • Violet – 1 percent
  • Beige – 1 percent
  • Yellow – 1 percent
South America
  • White – 39 percent
  • Gray – 20 percent
  • Silver – 16 percent
  • Black – 11 percent
  • Red – 6 percent
  • Blue – 5 percent
  • Beige – 2 percent
  • Brown – 1 percent

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