What You Need To Know About The Color Of Your Car , It Is More Than Skin Deep
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What You Need To Know About The Color Of Your Car , It Is More Than Skin Deep

Shanghai : China | Aug 29, 2010 at 6:18 AM PDT
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Did you know that?The color of your car is more than skin deep.it involves a lot of decision making and that depending on the model or make ,color can add enormous value. This is so according tothe report by Road & Track - Nick Kurczewski Yahoo News

Here is the report Source Nick Kurczewski

"Henry Ford certainly made things easy when he stipulated that customers for his rugged Model T could have any colour they wanted, so long as it was black. Today's car buyer faces a vastly more complicated decision-making process when choosing the paintjob for his or her new vehicle.

There's no way of knowing whether Mr. Ford would have approved of the eight colours currently available with the 2011 Fiesta SE subcompact sedan. Our guess is "Tuxedo Black" might have won his approval - although "Lime Squeeze Metallic" would probably have cost someone his job.



Things only get more complex the higher up the automotive food chain you go. The US$330,000 Bentley Mulsanne luxury sedan is available in more than 100 exterior shades. Customers can also order a customized colour, should they so desire. During this year's New York Auto Show, a Bentley representative described the company's recent efforts to colour-match everything from 1950s kitchenware to gowns worn by royalty.

We're here to present today's most popular car colours, some dos and don'ts when it comes to choosing a paintjob, and a peak at the hottest colours coming in the future. Along the way - aided by science and industry experts - we'll attempt to debunk a few common myths related to car colour.

Can you be charged higher insurance rates for a car with a bright paintjob? Do police really prefer ticketing red cars? Keep reading to find out...

What are the most popular car colours?

"The most popular colour in North America for the past three years is white," says Nancy Lockhart, Colour Marketing Manager for DuPont Vehicle Paints. "We've also seen that, globally, black has gained in popularity." Lockhart credits growing consumer interest in metallic and pearl-coat finishes with boosting the appeal of these two colours.

According to DuPont's annual "Colour Popularity Report," silver remains the most popular choice worldwide. However, more shocking colours are making inroads. "We're seeing a rise in purple globally," says Lockhart. "Orange has also been a colour space that has really taken notice the last five years."

Emerging markets like China and India will soon influence car colour palettes here in North America. Michelle Killen, Exterior Colour Designer for General Motors, predicts a distinctly rose-tinted future. "A trend that is starting to make its way here from China is the use of "pink" or "fuchsia," says Killen. "You are going to start seeing this used more in North American and European markets."

Killen says she relies on "everything" when studying the next must-have colours. "I use fashion for the "what's hot right now" and for longer term or further into the future I like to use trend sites." Furniture, product design and architecture all influence the colours GM offers, says Killen. "We are still seeing orange as a "hot" colour space. Orange has really become a staple in exterior paint design."

Can colour add or detract from a car's value?

The simple answer is yes, especially if you plan on holding onto your car long enough for it to attain classic status. "Everybody talks about Resale Red," says Mike Fairbairn, a founding partner at RM Auctions Inc. Red is perennially popular with buyers but, according to Fairbairn, not all colours are so lucky. "The other conventional wisdom is that you can't sell green."

Fairbairn advises owners - specifically those in the classic car world - to think carefully when choosing a colour. "Choose a period colour that people would consider iconic for that model." A colour should also apply to the type of car, with darker hues working well with formal luxury vehicles like a vintage Rolls-Royce.

For some makes and models, colour can add enormous value. When it comes to 1960s-era muscle cars, Fairbairn says the whole vehicle is valued according to what colour it was when it left the factory. "God help you if it was hideous green," says Fairbairn with a chuckle. Whether the owner likes it or not, the car is more valuable in an unattractive but entirely original colour scheme.

Fairbairn explains that buyers of certain classic Chrysler muscle cars, for example, will pay up to "one third more" for cars finished in wacky period colours like "Plum Crazy" purple. No wonder Chrysler brought back some of these lurid hues for its modern lineup of vehicles, including the Challenger coupe.

"Chrysler understands that there's a strong emotional bond drivers can have with their cars, and colour takes that feeling and personalizes it," says Jim Parker, Head of Chrysler's Exterior Colour & Trim Studio. "Think about it; the colour of a car can really make or break a great design."

"When we developed the new Challenger tribute colours, we went back in our archives and found the original colour standards that were developed in the late-60s for these wild colours," says Parker. These Challenger tribute colours have included "TorRed," "B5 Blue" and, of course, "Plum Crazy."

"We're topping off the 2010 model year now by introducing a limited run of new Furious Fuchsia, a tribute to the outrageous 70's colour Panther Pink," says Parker.

Do certain colours attract police?

In today's era of radar and laser detectors - not to mention soulless speed cameras - the easy answer is no. Most police officers will explain that if you're speeding, you're going to be pulled over no matter the colour of your car. But could law enforcement subconsciously be focusing on brighter colours, and red in particular?

They might be, at least based on research conducted by Dr. Mark Changizi, professor of Human Cognition at 2AI Labs. An evolutionary neurobiologist, Changizi's online biography details his studies as a means to "grasp the ultimate foundations underlying why we think, feel and see as we do."

According to his studies of primates, our eyes have evolved to detect subtle changes in blood oxygenation. In layman's terms: we notice pigment changes when, for example, someone turns red with anger or pale with fright. "It's all about emotions," says Changizi. "Our eyes are designed to see these colour changes." Primates with less fur on their face and rump (such as baboons and chimps) can detect these pigment shifts.

Different emotional states depend on how oxygenated your blood is. "Red is a symbol of strength physiologically," says Changizi, while mentioning recent studies that have proven wearing red sportswear leads to a higher probability of winning. Changizi says cultural factors also play an important role. Think about a red car, and chances are good a low-slung Ferrari or Corvette springs to mind.

Millions of years of evolution, along with some clever marketing, means that brighter colours (especially reds) could simply be hard-wired in our minds as being powerful, fast and strong. Just don't try to wiggle your way out of a speeding ticket by telling a cop he was genetically programmed to ticket your little red sports car.

Do insurance companies charge higher rates for bright colours?

It sounds silly, but the idea of paying higher insurance rates for a brightly coloured car has been around for years. Let's finally put it to rest. It's not true and, according to insurance industry experts, it never has been.

"I've never heard of a company that does," charge more for a certain colour, says Jeanne Salvatore, Senior Vice President Public Affairs at the Insurance Information Institute. "They're looking at theft records and safety records...make and model, and expense to repair."

"It's a myth," says Luz Correa, Public Affairs Specialist for State Farm Insurance in Metro New York. "[Car colour] is not something that goes into a rate." Related Tips & Advice Stories

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    The Color of your Car
    The color of your car depending on model and make can add value
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