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White, Silver Are Top Vehicle Colors In 2012

"Buyers want to purchase a color they won't grow tired of over an extended period of time," Killen said.

Color preferences vary by geography. You'll find more red vehicles in North America. Black and gray overtake silver in popularity in Europe. Drivers in Asia like tan and gold but not green. Only about 7 percent of cars in every region are blue.

PPG, which also develops paints for cell phones, laptops, airplanes and houses, bases its automotive paints on trends it sees in fashion, interior design and other areas. Harrington saw a lot of purple at a recent home color show in Paris, for example, so she helped develop a purplish gray paint for cars. PPG starts showing paints to carmakers three or four years ahead of a model's release, and automakers settle on colors two or three years before a model goes on sale.

Harrington predicts customers will see more browns and oranges over the next two years, especially on luxury cars. Brown â¿¿ which reminds people of leather or a rich cup of coffee â¿¿ evokes luxury around the world. Earthy colors are also appealing to drivers concerned about the environment.

As for the 2015 and 2016 model years, PPG is showing 64 future color options to automakers this week. Among those are Al Fresco, a silver metallic with a green tint; Glacier, an icy gray with a violet blue tone; and Elixir, a metallic mixture of silver and magenta.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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