DETROIT (AFP) -The next time you buy a car, you might want to pause a while longer to decide what colour you choose.
Top automakers throw millions of dollars at researching what the latest tastes are, and say the colour of a vehicle is so important to customers that it can be the difference between buying or not.
The ongoing auto show in Detroit saw many of the classic colours – reds for Porsches and other sports cars – and a few less conventional (a Nissan Titan pickup truck decked out in “forged copper”).
But there was no mistaking the pre-eminence of white. Particularly at the Volkswagen stand, where several cars, the stairs and much of the furniture was white. In a multibillion-dollar industry, nothing is put to chance and nothing is done by mistake, of course.
At least two designers in Detroit referred to the “Apple effect” – the Californian tech giant – to explain the propensity for white vehicles.
Sitting at a white table, on white chairs, in a white room, Oona Scheepers of Volkswagen told AFP: “White for cars really peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, and then all of a sudden disappeared.
“But in the last 10 years we have noticed an increase again in white. And it definitely came with the Apple iPod era because Apple started to do everything with white, and a lot of nice chrome or metal finishes.
“In combination it was really nice and fresh. But before that, white was really not selling in Europe because people associated it with delivery cars and it looked cheap. But the combination with metal and chrome looks fresh and completely new. White is booming worldwide.”