Silver in hues ranging from chrome to charcoal gray extended its reign as the most popular choice for car and truck paint across the globe this year, according to annual data collected by a leading paint maker.
Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries Inc. said silver has been the No. 1 color for nine straight years, accounting for 25 percent of vehicle paint choices in the U.S., 35 percent in Europe and 34 percent in the Asia-Pacific region.
In the U.S., silver rose from 20 percent of the market a year ago. White finished second at 18 percent and black was third with 16 percent. Red was a distant fourth at 12 percent.
PPG, which includes shades of charcoal and gray in its silver category, said in a statement that the color was popular because of new paint effects that make even dull shades of gray shine.
"Silver tones work well with today's tinted metallic textural looks," Jane Harrington, the company's manager of automotive color styling, said in the statement. "The density of silver, from subtle hue shifts to dimensional metallic flake appearances, works with a variety of vehicle styles."
Americans' tastes have changed dramatically in the past 15 years, PPG said. In 1994, green was the most popular color and only 8 percent of buyers chose silver.
PPG said its data includes the color of cars built in North America in the 2009 model year. In other areas of the world, the data includes cars sold, said spokesman Jack Mauer.
The auto industry worldwide is moving toward more color choices, PPG said. The company recently introduced 60 new exterior shades for the industry to consider for the 2012-13 model year.