Despite a greater choice of vibrant colours, white, silver and black finishes remain the top three paint picks for Ford customers across Europe.
The automaker’s European colour and material design team’s research shows that French and Italian car buyers favour cream colours, Danes likes black while the Irish go for silver. In Turkey, nearly half of new Ford car buyers choose white, far more than any other nation.
Understanding preferences across Europe helps Ford stay in step with customers and stock the right vehicles in dealer showrooms, the company said.
Julie Francis of the colour and material design team said: “There is something very personal to buyers about the colour of their cars, and when you look a little deeper you see that the culture, fashion and tastes in the markets across Europe have a major impact of the colours that customers choose.”
Colour trends – like fashion – change year to year. Ford has discovered that a small but growing number of buyers are choosing brown, copper and other earth tones.
Francis added: “It took people a little while to warm up to the brown hues; they had previously been perceived as ‘old fashioned’ – think 70s, 80s. But the brown tones are making a comeback in fashion, interior furniture, and now automotive, and have been revived with exciting interior to exterior combinations.”
Geographical borders and climate do not always determine the colour tastes of car buyers. Norway and Portugal, for example, share the same six favourite colours. Only one country has a number one colour other than black, white or silver – the Czech Republic.
One quarter of Czech buyers chose blue Fords in 2010. Czech buyers also choose the highest percentage of red among all nations – mirroring the dominant red and blue colours in the Czech flag.
Ford uses this data to make sure it offers the right colours in the right countries. Vince Shaw, marketing and product strategy manager for Ford of Europe, said: “For major markets such as Germany, we know that blacks and darker colours are popular so we factor that in to our planning.
“Clearly we want our vehicles to be attractive to our customers and colour is a big part of that. In fact, one of the success stories has been Hot Magenta and Squeeze – bright red and green – offered on the Fiesta. They have both sold extremely well.”