Talking about automotive paint and colour trends

There’s been quite a bit of talk in an earlier post today about the colour palette being offered by Saab on the new Saab 9-5.
I featured a screenshot of the palette being offered (in Sweden, at least) based upon some literature I had sent to me yesterday. That palette is as follows:
It does lack a little variety, but bear in mind a few things.

  • It’s my understanding that the color palette that GM intended to offer was larger when the car was to be built in Russelsheim. The move to Trollhattan changed that.
  • These decisions are based on what customers order as well as perceived trends in the future (see below)
  • The literature I received indicated three more colors (Solid Black, Laser Red and Java) for 2011.

So more color will come, but these should do just fin for the rest of this model year.
I thought I’d reproduce a press release from PPG, one of the world’s biggest automotive paint companies. It’s from late 2009, so is still quite current.
From this release, you’ll hopefully get a better understanding of the trends, the timing of decisions, and the complexity of modern paint and by extension, the methods needed to apply it. Like everything else in automotive manufacturing, changing it is not a finger-snap decision.
Silver still entrenched as world’s favorite vehicle color, according to PPG data
Company introduces 70 new shades at annual Automotive Color Trend Show
TROY, Mich., Oct. 1, 2009 – For the ninth consecutive year, the silver category, which includes charcoal and gray shades, has ranked as the most popular vehicle color in the world according to data from PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG), the world’s leading manufacturer of transportation coatings.
In North America, silver and charcoal saw a strong increase in popularity from 20 percent in 2008 to 25 percent this year. White was second (18 percent), black was third (16 percent) and red was fourth (12 percent). These four color categories comprise well over two-thirds of all vehicles sold in North America. Just 15 years ago, the most popular color on vehicles in North America was green with 21 percent, while silver had only 8 percent in 1994.
“What helps drive silver’s popularity are all of the innovative effects that really make silver shine … much more than just a simple gray,” said Jane E. Harrington, PPG manager, color styling, automotive coatings. “Silver tones work well with today’s tinted metallic textural looks. The diversity of silver, from subtle hue shifts to dimensional metallic flake appearances, works with a variety of vehicle styles.”

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Hot or not? Custom Saab graphic….

These sorts of cars are definitely an acquired taste. I’d never do a big graphics job on a car myself, but there are some that are done really well and there are some that aren’t.
For the most part, I think this car falls into the first category. There are some Saabs I’ve seen with graphics on them that look absolutely terrible, but this isn’t one. Not by a long shot. But there’s part of it I’m not sure about.
As mentioned, I think parts of this are really good, and there’s a bit that isn’t so good. But like just about all custom Saabs, I’ve got nothing but respect for the dedication that the owner’s put into this one.
Here are the graphics. Click to enlarge:
Our owner is apparently a Romanian guy and as you can see, the car is fairly new. I’m not sure if he’ll be reading this or not, so if you don’t like it (and I know some won’t), please keep your comments respectful, like you would if you were standing next to him looking over the car.
And next you’ll see the bit that I’m not so sure about…..

Read moreHot or not? Custom Saab graphic….

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