Axalta survey reveals colour is a key factor in 88% of vehicle purchasing decisions


  • Consumers desire high gloss finishes in colours that evoke elegance and stability
  • Axalta’s Automotive Color Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey provides insights on colour and paint preferences from vehicle owners in four of the largest automotive producing countries (China, Germany, Mexico and the US)

Axalta, a leading global supplier of liquid and powder coatings, released its Automotive Color Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey aimed at analysing the relationship between colour and vehicle purchasing decisions among consumers. More than 4000 participants aged 25 to 60 in four of the largest vehicle-producing countries – China, Germany, Mexico and the US, responded that colour was a key factor in 88% of vehicle purchasing decisions.

“The psychology of colour is a powerful influencing factor in automotive purchasing decisions. Frequently, colour reflects the personality of the vehicle owner,” said Nancy Lockhart, Global Color Manager, Mobility Coatings at Axalta. “What’s interesting is that elegance, stability and positivity were predominant colour characteristics desired by respondents surveyed.”

The survey analysed the colours consumers wanted on their vehicles to understand potential future trends. While consumers may prefer or desire a variety of colours, individual preferences showed differences from country to country.

The survey also explored paint finish and paint effect preferences. High-gloss finishes were clearly preferred by all markets surveyed except for China. There, results showed a near-even split between high-gloss and matte finishes (48% high gloss vs. 52% matte). Paint effect preferences across the surveyed markets were not as similar as results for paint finish preferences. Solid effects were the top choice of respondents in the US and China, whereas German respondents chose pearlescent and Mexico chose coarse metallic and pearlescent as their preferred paint effects.

Axalta designs colours to meet the needs of automotive consumers around the world. The changing dynamics in colour preferences between countries and vehicle types are studied to best forecast for future models. “The development of unique and new colours that meet the needs of our customers’ brands and consumer preferences is a key factor in understanding market trends. It is exciting to see how bolder colours are becoming more and more popular in the minds of consumers. Reds and blues are clearly rising in preference. It’s possible we’ll see more colours on the road with brilliant effects in the not too distant future,” said Lockhart.

For 68 years, Axalta has compiled and published the annual Color Popularity Report, the auto industry’s bellwether of car colours on the road based on original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales. Axalta’s Consumer Automotive Color Preferences Survey builds on that colour leadership and expertise, providing fresh perspectives and insights from automotive consumers on colour and paint relevance.

Axalta’s Consumer Automotive Color Preferences Survey highlights by country:

China: Colour is important for 99% of respondents in China when purchasing a vehicle. The preferred colours are white (29%) and black (26%). Red and blue ranked fifth and sixth. Of those surveyed, 64% would change manufacturers if they didn’t find their preferred colour. Among these respondents, 93% are the sole decision-maker of the vehicle colour purchased, while 7% rely on others to assist in the decision.

Germany: Of those surveyed in Germany, 83% said colour is important when purchasing a vehicle. With 63% of respondents being the sole decision-maker about the vehicle’s colour, 37% confer with family in the decision-making process. Black is the preferred colour with 32%, while blue came in second with 16%. German participants consider black as a colour that reflects elegance and blue reflects stability. In this region of the world, slightly more than one quarter of survey respondents (27%) own a black compact vehicle.

Mexico: For 90% of respondents in Mexico, colour is a key factor when purchasing a vehicle. Red is the preferred colour with 22% and is the top selection for both genders. Four out of 10 people surveyed in Mexico mentioned they would change manufacturers if they didn’t find the colour for which they are looking. 64% of the participants reported owning sedan model cars. Red reflects an elegant personality and blue reflects positivity according to survey respondents in Mexico.

United States: Colour is an important factor when purchasing a vehicle for 79% of American respondents; nearly half of all respondents (46%) state colour is very or extremely important. Of those surveyed, 82% of respondents in the US say vehicle colour is an individual decision and 53% of households have more than one vehicle. Although black is an overall trend, truck owners are choosing more colourful versions of blue (No. 2) and red (No. 3). Blue reflects positivity and red represents a sense of adventure in the minds of survey respondents in the US.

For more information about Axalta’s Automotive Colour Preferences 2021 Consumer Survey or country-specific survey findings, please visit www.axalta.com/color.


Share this page
  • Editorial Programme

    Coming up in the October 2021 issue

    • Going Green
    • Eastern Europe Market Report
    • Additives Market Report
    • Aerospace Coatings
    • Automotive Coatings
    • Gloss & Colour Measurement
    • Wood Coatings
    • Middle East Coatings Show Review

    Bonus Distribution:
    ChinaCoat 2021

    Publication date: Fri 13th Aug 2021
    Editorial deadline: Fri 20th Aug 2021
    Advertising deadline: Wed 15th Sep 2021

    For information on forthcoming editorial features and deadlines please click here.

Sister publication