Black, white, gray – German drivers’ favorite colors
First place for the most popular color for new cars in Germany is once again this year silver/gray, closely followed in second place by black. More than half of all new cars were supplied in these colors: 28.1 percent in gray or silver, and 27.4 percent in black. Next comes white, on 20 percent.
This continues the trend of “non-bright colors” seen since the turn of the millennium. Since 2000, over half (56 percent) of all new cars sold were painted silver/gray, black or white. Today three out of four new cars (75.5 percent) are supplied in one of these colors. One reason for the popularity of subdued colors is to maintain the vehicle’s resale value – which is important in particular for company cars, whose share among total new registrations has risen in recent years. For comparison: in 1990 one in two new cars was supplied in bright colors, and by 1995 this had risen to more than two thirds. Blue is the most popular of the bright colors for new cars (with 9.6 percent). These results emerged from studies undertaken by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) of current data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), taking all new passenger car registrations in Germany up to November 2016 into account.
The color of a car is significant not only to the buyers of new vehicles – it also reflects the spirit of the time. Colors with a “technical character,” especially the non-bright colors along with blue, became more popular as the digital age dawned. For example, the proportion of newly registered passenger cars with silver or gray paintwork increased from 13.6 percent in 1994 to 46.4 percent in 2004. So silver/gray, black and white are the dominating finishes. By contrast, striking colors such as orange (0.6 percent), mauve/purple (0.3 percent) and yellow (1.5 percent), made up very little of the new car fleet in 2016. Yet the color red remains popular among a small, but stable group of buyers (6.5 percent in 2016).