Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Some like it Red Hot

By: Dan Benton, Axalta Color Marketing Director

Axalta Coating Systems has been tracking vehicle color trends for more than 60 years, as evidenced by our annual Global Automotive Color Popularity ReportHistorically, red has been a favorite automotive color in the sports car segment, and has increased in popularity in other segments.  Red stands out – and for this reason, many companies use red as part of their corporate brand identities.  What better way to advertise your brand than to feature eye-catching reds on trucks that are transporting your goods across North America?

Recent innovations in pigment and effect technology have enhanced the ability to create unique, eye-catching reds.  High energy pigment grinds, and dispersion technology allow for more saturated (high chroma) reds.  When combined with new effect pigments (synthetic micas and glass flake), these new reds sparkle and shimmer like never before.

Axalta’s Automotive Color of the Year, Radiant Red, featured on the No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet SS driven by Jeff Gordon, is a good example of the new capability.  When exposed to sunlight, this deep saturated red is even more dynamic – exploding with sparkle effects.

Consumers tend to use colors to express their personalities.  Red is often associated with speed, energy, and confidence.  This is why red seems to be a staple color on sports cars. However, reds are not just for sports cars anymore. The deep rich versions are trending in the heavy duty truck market as well.

Peterbilt Truck Model 579 Shines in Axalta’s Imron® Elite Legendary Red color.

Heavy Duty Trucks that pull the 18 wheel semis along highways and by-ways are powerful vehicles that command attention.  Reds accentuate the pioneer spirit of blazing a trail across the open road.  From sunlit beautiful driving days, to the difficulties of winter weather (especially in the Northeast this year) – brilliant red trucks are leading the way.

Independent owner operators of the big trucks are ordering more reds than ever before.  Axalta’s Viper Red is the most popular red ordered in the commercial fleet segment. Proud independent professionals who move products along the open roads, and urban landscape stand out in red.  For many, these heavy duty trucks are a home away from home, and there is a great deal of pride in maintaining eye-catching, attractive rigs that are seen by thousands of people every day.

Axalta is the number one supplier of coatings to class 8 truck manufacturers in North America.  We work closely with designers to create color offerings that keep our customers on the leading edge.  At last month’s Mid America Trucking show in Louisville, Kentucky, Axalta revealed the “Wall of Red”- 30 new reds designed specifically for the Heavy Duty Truck market.  Peterbilt featured its new Legendary line of colors at the Mid America Trucking Show as well.  The line was developed with Axalta’s Imron® Elite coatings.  Peterbilt’s signature color is Legendary Red.  It’s a high chroma color, lush and rich color that fits Peterbilt’s corporate color identity, and brings out the distinctive styling features of Peterbilt trucks.

We see red, and other high chroma colors continuing to increase in popularity.  Consumer demand and continued technology enhancements will help facilitate growth across segments.  Red is hot, and as the weather warms from spring to summer – it is only fitting that we should see more reds blazing trails across North America, because some like it red hot.