Bright, eye-catching paint colors for vehicles are the wave of the future according to the Director of Global Color, Material, and Finish for GM, Jennifer Widrick, speaking to Chevy’s New Roads magazine.
Solid colors may be getting lighter and brighter, while two-tone vehicles might also being seeing a renaissance, potentially leading to more colorful roads going forward – at least for a while.
Achromatic paint finishes – white, black, gray, silver – have dominated for years now. In fact, white was still the most popular automotive paint color in 2022, continuing a winning streak that has seen it stay in the number one position for 13 consecutive years.
In spite of the achromatic colors’ market strength, Widrick sees chromatic auto paint colors gaining popularity quickly. Her team uses data about consumer trends to forecast color choices up to three to five years in advance, meaning some of their research is already looking at 2028 GM model-year colors. Orange, red, green, and blue, plus lighter colors in general, seem to be snowballing in popularity.
Some third-party research appears to back up Widrick’s claims. U.S.-based paint manufacturer Axalta says Techno Blue is the 2023 Global Automotive Color of the Year. The color is said to evoke today’s energized, positive, forward-looking mood. It also has no current equivalents in GM’s automotive color palette.
The automotive color trends researched by BASF, a significant coating supplier for GM, also show some brighter, richer colors climbing the popularity charts. Yellows and greens are gaining ground according to BASF, though it asserts red is a bright color that’s not currently highly desired.
Two-tone paint jobs on cars may be making a comeback, too, according to Widrick, as a way for buyers to get a more striking look. However, unlike yesteryear’s complex two-tone paint scheme’s, today’s appearances often focus on a simple, straightforward approach with a different colored roof. The 2022 Chevy Blazer tapped into this trend with its Black roof option, carrying the GM RPO code 41T, while the 2023 Chevy Trailblazer can be ordered with a Summit White (J32/J33), Iridescent Pearl Tricoat (J3B), Mosaic Black Metallic (J35/J50) or Crimson Metallic (J36) roof.
Turning to actual GM colors, the paint color options offered on electric vehicles like the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV SS include achromatic hues such as white, black, and pearl, but also some brighter, richer tints like Radiant Red Metallic, Riptide Blue Metallic, and Red Hot. Another electric vehicle, the 2024 Chevy Equinox EV, sports the same reds and blues alongside the blacks, whites, and grays.
GM pickup trucks also have some more colorful options available for recent model years. The 2023 Chevy Colorado features five chromatic colors out of eight, including Harvest Bronze Metallic (color code GXN), Radiant Red Tintcoat (GNT), Glacier Blue Metallic (GLT), Nitro Yellow Metallic (GCP), and the beige Sand Dune Metallic (GTL).
While the 2023 GMC Canyon‘s palette is even split between chromatic and achromatic colors, it features some paint choices in tune with the possible shift toward brighter hues, including Deep Bronze Metallic (GXN), Dynamic Blue Metallic (GLT), Volcanic Red Tintcoat (GNT), and the shimmering golden tint of Solar Flare Metallic (GCP).