Annual car color predictions an emotionally intuitive process

Sean Connery's Sterling Silver Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger. Steve McQueen's Highland Green 1968 Mustang GT390 Fastback in Bullitt. Or Paul Walker's Solar Orange Toyota Supra in the Fast and the Furious.

Each of these instantly unforgettable and trendsetting cars were both meticulously designed and colored to resonate with automotive fans the world over. And every last design decision, from the bold latticed lines of the DB5's grill, to the Fastback's signature quarter panel vented scoops, were exhaustingly pined over by massive design teams before being decided upon.

Conversely, there are those who feel the color of your car is every bit as important as the ergonomics of your door handles. And BASF's Color Excellence Group, who just released their color predictions for 2020, are definitely among them.

"There is so much emotion and psychology attached to color..."

But while automotive design is well documented process, how do auto manufacturers choose the car colors that are going to undoubtedly attract their next wave of customers? How do suppliers ensure that not a single dollar is misspent, and that new buyers are excitedly torn over the options laid out in front of them when picturing that new Tesla in the driveway?

By finding out exactly what people want, and giving it to them.

“There is so much emotion and psychology attached to color, which makes it an ideal expression of one's image to the outside world," said Paul Czornij, Head of Design for BASF North America, for 2014's predictions. And that emotional buying logic is precisely why the highly collaborative Color Excellence team—comprised of chemists, industrial designers and artists—annually travels to every corner of the globe, deeply analyzing every observable trend, and leaving no stone unturned.

The results for 2020? Sixty-five original, highly intuitive, head-turning colors, regionally separated to entice and excite those that stirred them.

North America - Raingarden

Heavily influenced by America's entrepreneurial and unstoppable can-do attitude, Raingarden is a forceful metallic silver that portrays strength and a rock solid foundation. Raingarden also rewards particularly keen observers, as it can appear blue or green depending on your vantage point

Asia - Deep Dive

To successfully balance Asia's insatiable creativity and proud traditions, the Color Excellence Group selected Deep Dive, a lively blue green. And as Asia continues to expand economically, research shows a vast amount of buying power in their emerging middle class. Young, optimistic, and innovative, they are both the target of and inspiration behind, Deep Dive.

Europe - ASMR Blue

This stunning metallic blue pays respect to Europe's seemingly timeless design and engineering prowess. Somehow both calculated and impressively progressive, this approach always results in a polished, high-performance outcome, which ASMR Blue aims to replicate.

Color is what takes a bare chassis and transforms it into a literal vehicle of self expression. And by extensively researching emotional climates, collaborative efforts like BASF's Color Excellence Group often achieve that “this color is so me” reaction they aim for.

Once OEM's choose their picks of the litter, BASF works closely with them to ensure every hue optimally coats each unique material that tomorrow's cars are composed of, to influence buys, turn heads, and impress the neighbors.


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