Monday, January 15, 2018

Axalta Unveils StarLite as its Automotive Color of the Year 2018

StarLite is a modern, technology-savvy, premium color for vehicles of today and tomorrow. Borne from Axalta’s ChromaDyne™ line of color coats which are developed for automotive OEMs, StarLite is a light and reflective hue that contains synthetic pearl flakes which create an eye-catching, pearlescent effect. StarLite is designed to look great and add a luxurious shine to all vehicle sizes, while providing functional benefits.
“Highly reflective colors can contribute to the functionality of driverless vehicles because lighter colors, like StarLite, are more easily detectable by LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems,” explains Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Color Marketing Manager. “So, while StarLite may not apply to all autonomous detection systems, Axalta believes these shades will become increasingly important to automakers.”
A study by Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area also shows that white and other light and reflective paints can have sustainable results and help reduce automotive emissions.
Axalta also selected StarLite as the 2018 Automotive Color of the Year because of a notable rise in the global popularity of automotive white colors. According to Axalta’s recently released 2017 Global Color Popularity Report, nearly 40 percent of car buyers chose white in 2017 and it is the seventh consecutive year that white is the most popular color in the world.
The first automotive event to feature this rising star will be the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. 
To read The Detroit News’ feature article on StarLite, click here.
To read Axalta’s Press Release on StarLite, click here.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Farewell to Gallant Gray

As we look forward to launching Axalta’s 2018 Automotive Color of the Year (COTY) this month, we reflect on the last 12 months of Gallant Gray, our 2017 COTY. It’s clear that Gallant Gray was an excellent choice as COTY, as Axalta’s Global Automotive 2017 Color Popularity Report shows that gray’s popularity increased in Asia, South America, and Europe, while holding strong in North America. We can’t take all the credit for that, but we like to think Gallant Gray had something to do with gray being a rock star color!

We kicked off our Gallant Gray campaign at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A Detroit Free Press story helped introduce Gallant Gray to the world. The story sparked much interest around this color space, and Gallant Gray was off and running. The celebration continued at the Auto Show where we unveiled Gallant Gray pedal cars (painted by our custom builder friends at MobSteel and students at Drive One Detroit) and debuted a Gallant Gray video. 

Gallant Gray pedal cars made an appearance at the North America International Auto Show

After the Auto Show it felt like Gallant Gray was everywhere. Events started around the world highlighting Gallant Gray at shows, customer meetings, and educational events. Gallant Gray was the first COTY on the racetrack since Jeff Gordon drove his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet with the inaugural COTY in 2014. Driver William Byron raced the No. 9 Axalta Chevrolet to victory lane in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a sparkling Gallant Gray car. At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Burtin Racing gave their No. 50 Chevrolet Camaro a distinct edge with a Gallant Gray paint scheme. And, of course Gallant Gray stole the show at the 2017 SEMA show in Las Vegas on a stunning 1965 convertible that was expertly restored by the Hot Rod Barn. Show goers agreed – Gallant Gray accentuated the beautiful lines of the classic American sports car.

Throughout the year we had fun on the Color Block blog looking at popular grays over the years (50 of them, in fact) and what comprises the anatomy of Gallant Gray.

The Anatomy of Gray post on the Color Block blog explained the parts of Gallant Gray

Though Gallant Gray will be missed, gray is here to stay! Axalta color experts predict it will increase on car builds worldwide in 2018. We first noticed this surge in gray popularity early in 2016 when our 2016 Global Color Popularity Report showed a steep drop for silver and a rise in gray. Moreover, gray and silver tied for third in global popularity behind white and black, the first and second most popular colors in the world, respectively. In 2017, the shift shows there is less of a margin between black and gray, but white still holds the number one spot on the charts by a large margin.


Gallant Gray may have started the year as an underdog, but for many of us it will be our favorite color of the year. So farewell, Gallant Gray. The 2018 COTY has some big, gray shoes to fill. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Taking a Look Back at 50 Automotive Shades of Gray

As Axalta continues its year-long celebration of Gallant Gray – the 2017 Automotive Color of the Year – we thought it would be interesting to look back on the recent history of gray and a popular list of 50 shades of automotive grays.

Since 1953, Axalta has been the leading company to publish data on auto color trends and popularity in our annual Color Popularity Reports -- that’s more than 60 years’ worth of reports.
In our first edition, green ranked number one, blue was two and gray was third (all North America data in 1953). In 2016, the tables turned quite a bit. White was the worldwide number one for the sixth consecutive year. Black was second, while silver and gray tied for third. Silver, overtaken by white as world number one in 2011, continues to slide globally.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same,” said Dan Benton, Axalta Color Marketing Manager. “That’s one of reasons that led us to Gallant Gray.”

Gray has always been a winning color


Benton acknowledges that silver and gray can be close. While Gallant Gray is a luxurious color enhanced with blue and silver flakes that provide a unique sparkle effect and dark undertones for a rich finish, conventional wisdom seems to call silver “shiny” and gray “dull.” Between 2000 and 2012, “silver/gray” was the most popular color in Europe just as it was in the Asia-Pacific region from 1973-1978.

We went back about 30 years and found 50 different grays from automakers. Notice how some are even named “silver” but their color formulations put them squarely in the gray family.

And yes, I am using the correct spelling gray from our offices just outside Detroit. Technically, both are acceptable … and I’d probably use “grey” if my office was in Europe or Australia.
The list is sorted by year first used, for no particular reason.

Have a favorite name? Did we miss one you love? Let us know in the comments section.

Company
Color Name
First Year Used
FORD
SILVER
1988
FORD
SILVER FROST
1994
BMW
TITANIUM SILVER
1997
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
PEWTER
1998
TOYOTA
SILVER
1998
FORD
DARK SHADOW GREY
2000
TOYOTA
SILVER SKY
2001
TOYOTA
PHANTOM GREY
2001
VOLKSWAGEN
PLATINUM GREY
2002
FORD
SILVER BIRCH
2002
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
LIGHT TARNISHED SILVER
2003
TOYOTA
SILVER
2003
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
DARK SPIRAL GRAY
2003
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
STEALTH GREY
2004
CHRYSLER
TUNGSTEN
2004
NISSAN
RADIANT SILVER
2004
MERCEDES
IRIDIUM SILVER
2004
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
GREYSTONE
2005
INFINITI
SILVER
2005
TOYOTA
MAGNETIC GREY
2006
TOYOTA
SLATE
2006
NISSAN
PRECISION GREY
2006
CHRYSLER
SILVER STEEL
2006
NISSAN
DARK SLATE
2007
NISSAN
PLATINUM GRAPHITE
2007
HONDA
POLISHED METAL
2008
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
CARBON FLASH
2008
HONDA
URBAN TITANIUM
2008
SUBARU
DARK GRAY
2008
SUBARU
STEEL SILVER
2008
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
SILVER ICE
2009
FORD
STERLING GREY
2009
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
CYBER GREY
2009
NISSAN
GUNMETAL GREY
2009
MAZDA
LIQUID SILVER
2009
HYUNDAI
SILVER
2009
NISSAN
SAHARA STONE SILVER
2009
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
MAGNA STEEL
2010
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
DARK LABYRINTH GRAY
2010
HYUNDAI
HARBOR GRAY
2010
NISSAN
GRAPHITE BLUE
2010
TOYOTA
WINTER GRAY
2010
CHRYSLER
DARK CHARCOAL
2010
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
SHEER SILVER
2010
ACURA
GRAPHITE LUSTER
2011
HYUNDAI
TITANIUM GRAY
2011
TOYOTA
DARK STEEL
2012
HYUNDAI
IRONMAN SILVER
2012
HYUNDAI
INDIGO NIGHT
2012
GENERAL MOTORS CORP
IRIDIUM
2013




Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Gallant Gray Q&A

Axalta’s year-long celebration of Gallant Gray is more than half way through. Over the last eight months, it has been great talking with Axalta customers, colleagues and fans all around the world about the beauty and depth Gallant Gray provides, as well as gray’s rising popularity in the automotive market.

During these valuable discussions, a few questions kept cropping up, so we thought a Gallant Gray Q&A can help answer the most common questions that you may have. Leave a note in the comments if you have a Color of the Year question we didn’t answer.

Q: How did Axalta come up with Gallant Gray?

A: Axalta’s color experts put a lot of time, thought and energy into crafting the Color of the Year. Hard data, daily inspirations and knowledge of the automotive market led Axalta to the color.
Data shows that a high percentage of the market is interested in a neutral palette. Adding slight hints of hues can add life to these colors. Statistically, gray’s popularity on vehicles is on the rise around the globe and silver continues to fall. Behind white and black, gray tied silver in 2016 at 11 percent. Gray leads silver in popularity in Europe (by six percent), North America (five percent), and South Korea (seven percent). Gray is most popular in Europe (17 percent), North America (16 percent), South Korea (19 percent), and India (12 percent). 

Q: Can I buy a Gallant Gray car?

A: Yes and no. Gallant Gray, like each of Axalta’s Color of the Years, is a concept color devised using data from global automotive trends and inspired by nature and culture. The shade is not currently on any production vehicle. However, after its release, custom painters were eager to use Gallant Gray on their projects and so you may come across Gallant Gray on a hotrod or custom car near you! Axalta will feature one of those projects at this year’s SEMA show, so stay tuned for more. Gallant Gray is also at the track. Axalta sponsored driver, William Bryon drives a Gallant Gray Chevrolet in NASCAR’s Xfinity series races.

William Bryon drives a Gallant Gray Chevrolet in NASCAR’s Xfinity series races.

Q: Can I paint my house Gallant Gray?

A: Turn on any home improvement show and there’s a good chance you will see gray inside. Especially in kitchens and living rooms. Axalta’s Gallant Gray was specifically developed as a metallic automotive coating. If you just have to have Gallant Gray in your house, check out Pantone color 430 C for a similar solid color space.

Q: Is it "gray" or "grey"?

A: They are both pretty much acceptable. “Gray” seems to be more popular in the US while “grey” reigns in the UK. 

Q: How do different generations react to Gallant Gray?

A: Gallant Gray is designed to look spectacular on any size vehicle and has had great response globally.  With color complexity and a fresh look to this classic color space, the intent of the color is to have not only global appeal but multi-generation appeal. It may be working, a New York Times story titled, “For Millennial Men, Gray Hair Is Welcome” details several cases of young men going for a Gallant Gray look and reports that Amazon has “seen a threefold increase in the last year in customers searching for gray hair dye.”

Q: Can you tell me next year’s Automotive Color of the Year?

A: Yes! Check back with us around the North American International Auto Show in January 2018.