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Kiwis playing it safe with car colours


New Zealand vehicle owners are playing it safe and choosing from a narrow palette when it comes to the colour of their vehicle

The Motor Trade Association (MTA) says New Zealand vehicle owners largely follow overseas markets, where despite having a large range to choose from, generally play it safe and select from a narrow colour palette when it comes to their vehicle.

According to data provided by transport coatings manufacturer PPG, silver has emerged as the world’s most popular vehicle colour for the 10th year running.

Here in NZ, data provided by the Motor Industry Association (MIA) shows that from 2007 until October of 2010, silver coloured vehicles were easily New Zealand’s most popular, accounting for 27% of the new vehicle market. When grey and black coloured vehicles are added in, that figure rises to more than 57%.

Traditional favourites red, white and blue have slipped in the popularity stakes, combined they made up just 35% of the new vehicles sold in this period.

Transport coatings manufacturer PPG says colour is becoming extremely important to the average consumer, and this trend of tiresome colours will eventually die out.

“Colour is an important component of how today’s car makers can define and differentiate a vehicle or brand in the marketplace. The palette of colours being developed for the automotive industry is clearly being influenced by culture, nature, fashions, movies, media, electronics and many consumer products,” said manager Jane E Harrington.

Terry Honan, General Manager of Auckland dealership Schofield and Co puts this local conservatism down to the aging population.

“Most new car buyers are at the older end of the age scale, they’re conservative by nature, even if they’re buying a company car. People want to protect resale values, so tend to go for colours that they see as already selling well second-hand.”

The relatively old age of New Zealand’s national fleet means that there is still an opportunity for those hankering for a view of the greens, golds, purples and yellows of the past, but with the growing trend towards the silver and grey section of the colour-wheel, they may need to be quick.

Auto Trader New Zealand