Every colour of the rainbow

Martorell, 19 August 2019

  • White is the most widely chosen colour for cars worldwide, followed by black and grey
  • In India there are hardly any black vehicles, while the colour red is a big favourite in Mediterranean countries
  • Climate, personal taste and superstitions influence colour choices

Black and grey come next: black is the second most popular colour worldwide, with a 16% share. But again the differences by country are quite significant. 22% of all cars in Japan are black, while in India hardly any can be found, partly because people believe the colour concentrates more heat. Black SEAT cars are especially popular in Algeria and the Netherlands. On the contrary, it goes down to sixth place on the list in Mexico. And on a curious note, it is a colour that is officially forbidden in Turkmenistan as it is associated with bad luck.

In the case of grey, 11% of customers worldwide choose it, and it ties with silver, according to Axalta. Silver is also especially popular in India, with a 30% share, whereas only 6% of Chinese customers have a car this colour. For SEAT, grey is the second most popular colour in countries such as Germany, Spain, the UK, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

“Several factors explain the differences among regions, from climate and colours that are associated with good or bad luck to countries where cars are still considered a status symbol and therefore customers choose more elegant colours. This is why we design elaborate formulations to so customers can choose the perfect colour to suit their lifestyle. We mustn't forget that the order customers follow when choosing a car is model and colour”, says Jordi.

Mediterranean red: further down the ranking, the specifics of each region are even more apparent. For example, in Europe and the United States, the colour blue has a prominent place, with a 10% share, while in China it is practically nowhere to be found.

Mediterranean countries prefer brighter colours. In Spain, red is the third most popular colour among SEAT customers; it comes in fourth place in Italy and sixth in markets such as Switzerland.

By segments: geography is not the only influencing factor - another aspect to consider is the type of car. “A sporty model won't have the same colour palette as an SUV, which requires earthy tones and other shades better suited to nature. Small cars can have single bright colours, while larger vehicles tend towards dark metallic tones”, says Jordi. For example, 34% of luxury SUVs in Europe are black, while the figure goes down by half in the case of compact cars. On the other hand, only 3% of luxury SUV owners choose red, which increases to 10% in the case of compacts.

A multitude of personal preferences, but a common sentiment: choosing the colour that best suits each driver. “Design is a deciding factor when it comes to choosing a model, and this is where colours and materials play an essential role. We can't forget that colour choice is extremely personal and it expresses how people want to be seen by others. And I'd even say that the future will be characterised by personalising options even further, as in the case of the Arona, which is available in 68 different colour combinations”, concludes Jordi.

SEAT Communications

Elisabet Anglada
Head of Content Activation
M/ +34 689 282 093

Vanessa Petit
Content Generation
T / +34 680 153 938