Silver was the most popular vehicle colour worldwide for the 2002 model year, according to transportation coating manufcturer PPG Industries.

The annual survey of consumer preferences, conducted by the Advanced Colour Design Team at PPG, found approximately one-third of the vehicles produced in the leading automotive markets -- North America, Europe and Japan -- were silver.

"The technology orientation of consumers in North America, Europe and Japan -- as well as the use of silver in home interior, fashion and architectural design -- has helped boost the global popularity of silver for vehicles," said a PPG spokesman. "In addition, silver is a very versatile colour that is attractive across all vehicle lines."

Consumers' preference for silver and other neutral shades continues to grow, the spokesman said. They have exceeded white in North America and blue in Europe, and matched the perennial popularity of white in Japan for the 2002 model year.

Advances in coatings technology have also helped to drive silver's popularity -- by generating a wide spectrum of special effects and appearances.

PPG expects silver will remain a staple of automakers' colour palettes for the next several years because consumers' choices in vehicle colours tend to evolve -- rather than change from year to year.

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