By Jerry Hirsch
LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to autos, white is the new white.
Automakers in North America offered more white cars than vehicles in any other color during the just-completed 2012 model year, according to the automotive coating division of PPG Industries.
The paint company said 22 percent of the 2012 cars painted white. That compares to 21 percent last year. White stole market share from black, which fell to 19 percent this year from 20 percent last year. Silver held steady at 20 percent.
Americans just don't seem to be into cars with dynamic colors, according to the 2012 model year build data collected by PPG. Red is 9 percent, blue 7 percent and green 2 percent.
But that hasn't stopped PPG from offering up some interesting colors for consideration by the industry for the 2014 model year and beyond, such as Al Fresco, a green-tinted silver, or Glacier, a gray with a blue tone.
When it comes to luxury cars, 33 percent were painted gray. Red was the most common color for sports cars, at 19 percent. Orange gets almost no love. It did best in the compact car and light truck segments, but even then tallied just 2 percent.
Despite their affinity for white, American car buyers aren't as conservative as their counterparts abroad. In Europe 23 percent of the cars built during the last model year were white and 21 percent black. In Asia, 23 percent were white and another 23 percent were silver.