White was the number one vehicle color choice among retail consumers in 1992, while dark and medium greens made significant popularity gains in the past year, according to DuPont Automotive's survey of 1992-model color popularity.

White had significantly higher marketshare percentages than any other vehicle color for 1992 new model purchases, averaging 23 percent for luxury, full-size/intermediate models, sport/compact cars, and light trucks/vans. However, on average, dark, rich greens and medium greens have leaped from the bottom of the list to the fifth most popular consumer color choice in these four vehicle categories. Greens now hold 7.55 percent of the 1992-model retail marketshare for luxury vehicles, 6.5 percent of the full-size/intermediate share, 6.28 percent of the sport/compact cars, and 9.24 percent of the light trucks/vans.

"There's a new way of doing green - it's not the avocado or yellow-greens we saw in the '60s and '70s - it's the blue-greens, which fit with more interiors," says Bob Daily, finishes color marketing manager for DuPont Automotive in Troy, MI. Daily added that the automotive industry was following similar trends in the fashion and home furnishings industries.

Rosanne Forde, fashion director of women's apparel for DuPont Fibers, attributes the popularity growth of green to an increased interest in environmental preservation and increased feelings of uncertainty. "Green symbolizes harmony and counteracts emotional stress," says Forde.

Based on his research, Daily predicts the following color trends in the coming years:

  • Greens will continue to be popular for several more years. Although greens may continue to grow in popularity, there will not be as big a jump in popularity as there was in 1992.
  • Colors will be less chromatic in the full-size/luxury vehicle category. Various shades of blue and a dustier/chalkier look is expected to increase in popularity with consumers in future model years.
  • Red shades will shift from blue/reds to warmer yellow/reds.
  • Dark, rich purples and mid to reddish yellow will emerge as popular vehicle colors in the next three to five years.