Earthier Tones Making Car Color Comeback

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CARS.COM — What color will your next car be? BASF says earthier tones are making a comeback. In its annual Automotive Color Trends report, the chemical producer predicts beige and blue hues will return because they represent natural colors — a sort of analog counterpoint to increasing digitization, BASF says. 

Related: Can Choosing the Wrong Color Lower Your Resale Value?

At the same time, the company predicts pastels and "intense blues" will trend upward to reflect consumer acceptance of new technology. Meanwhile, dark and medium grays depict "the relationship of fascination and fear as seen in the reflection in our digital mirror."

It all sounds like a bit of fortune-teller psychobabble, but BASF claims extensive research to predict new-car colors across the globe in three to five years. To that end, BASF forecasts North America's trending tint is a silky dark navy color dubbed Undercurrent Blue, a representation of more natural colors amid technological encroachment. Hey, at least it isn't Contusion Blue.

Contrast that with the report a year ago, where BASF's colors split between brighter synthetic colors and more natural shades — a juxtaposition of digitization and a "longing for honest self-expression," the company said. North America's color a year ago was called Raingarden (seriously, we couldn't make this up), a silvery shade that looks a bit green or blue depending on viewing angle. It's also a great name for a Chris Cornell tribute band.

Whether or not BASF’s predictions come to fruition, it’s unlikely that the top three most-popular car colors — white, black and silver — are going to change anytime soon.

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Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey

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