Donald Trump may impact the color of your next car.
Automotive paint supplier BASF Coatings issued a yearly color trends report Wednesday with 65 concept colors that could appear on vehicles in the next three to five years. Those concept colors are created by studying societal factors like young people moving into cities, the rising popularity of podcasts and the current polarized political climate.
“This is an election year, so there’s a lot of passion going back and forth there,” said Paul Czornij, head of design for BASF’s color excellence group. “This passion spills over in this North American can-do attitude, this idea that you have to do something and you can’t just sit by and let the world go past you.”
That idea of passion led Czornij’s team to create a deep, blood-red color they call “Primordial Soup.” Other top North American colors in this year’s report include “Raingarden,” a metallic silver; and “Aerialist Wish,” a variation on black.
All three are examples of “Parallax,” the overarching theme of this year’s report that describes how a color changes based on your vantage point.
Raingarden’s silver transitions from a greenish-yellow to a blue, depending on where you look at it on the car body. It was inspired by technology and the increasing role smartphones play in peoples’ lives.
Primordial Soup’s shifting reds reflect passion and differing viewpoints.
Aerialist Wish moves from dark black to a silvery-blue, and was influenced by increasing urban development.
“The change in the urban areas has been a prominent feature in our societal analysis for the last three color collections,” Czornij said. “For a long time, city centers in the United States have been seen as unattractive and undesirable, but that’s all changing as artists, designers, musicians and others seize the opportunity and make their homes once again in the city.”
The colors won’t necessarily be on tomorrow’s Escalades and Camrys; they’re inspirational concepts that will be presented to automakers across the world, who will then decide which ones they like. Traditionally, simple colors like white, black, silver and gray have dominated consumer preference.
“When color preferences change sharply, it’s much more difficult to change your car color than the color of your tie,” Czornij said. “What car buyers tend to be is a little more on the conservative side. We try to capture the emotion and innovation in all colors.”
Czornij said a person’s relationship with their car is very personal, but that could be changing. Ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft and Zipcar are changing how people get from one place to another. Some analysts predict traditional car ownership will be significantly different in the future, but Czornij said color will still matter.
“I think people’s relationship with color is always going to be strong,” he said. “With a rise in car-sharing services, we could see a rise in cars that may have more overlapping color positions. At the same time, if you do own a car, it will become an extremely special thing for you and something that relates directly to spending time with the family rather than commuting to and from work, so you might find more of an expression of color.”