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If you’re into white, silver, or black cars, then your world is perfect. That’s because these continue to be the most popular colors for cars in America. But when you look at what is the most popular in other countries, it proves the US has the most boring-ass car colors in all the world. What happened, people?

Americans used to love a variety of car colors

BASF 2021-2022 color
BASF 2021-2022 color suggestions | BASF

Americans used to be so adventuresome, so full of life. And color. Not everything was gas-chamber green and peuse. Where did that fun sense of color go? 

Over 75-percent of cars are painted these non-colors. Blue, red, and green combined represent only 22-percent of all US cars. And we should point out that technically white is the absence of color, and black is the combination of all colors. But neither is really a color. Just saying.

Chemical company BASF does its yearly color predictor for each country making cars. It shows what is currently popular and then offers suggestions for up-and-coming colors. Not that any of those suggestions are taken. Still, it is almost shocking how boring and limited our non-color choices have become. 

The car colors BASF is suggesting are actual colors

BASF 2021-2022 color
BASF 2021-2022 color suggestions | BASF

BASF’s proposed popular colors for 2021 and 2022 have actual colors in them. But we suspect none of them will get selected. There are a couple of purples and oranges which absolutely won’t. We’ve seen purple creeping into concept car colors and interiors, and even some grayed-out pinks. 

We especially like the “Frozen Berry” pink on Porsche’s Taycan. But we suspect none will make it to our shores. Yellows, oranges, greens, and purples have been persona-non-grata forever. 

Plum Crazy was a hit car color for one year, then all owners repainted them black

BASF 2021-2022 color
BASF 2021-2022 color suggestions | BASF

All of those currently sought-after Plum Crazy Chargers from the early 1970s got repainted black by 1974. That color got hidden so quickly even original owners changed their minds and paid for a repaint. Or just sold them. 

Anyway, we do like the pasty green and brown with what looks like a dark gray side cast. But green is almost nonexistent with only one percent of US cars painted that color. And it seems like car companies have tried brown a number of times over the last 20 years or so. Brown just doesn’t seem to have any legs. 

BASF has hedged it bets for 2022 colors

BASF 2021-2022 color
This is some scary-looking stuff | BASF

Most of the other suggestions for colors have a gray side cast or are variations of gray. So BASF’s color people are hedging their bets with these. That’s probably the best hope BASF has for seeing any of these adopted by the automakers. 

On a final note, these color predictors traditionally like to show their chosen colors on things. You know, like on amorphic shapes or on actual cars. But there are some quite disturbing representations rendered for our edification. Some really scary stuff. But whatever these designers were taking when they did these, we want some of it!


What Your Car’s Color Says About You