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BASF Releases 2017/18 Automotive Color Trend Predictions

Published on 2017-06-19. Author : SpecialChem

SHANGHAI, China -- A desire for more simplicity and transparency in a digital world inspired the overarching theme of BASF’s Automotive Color Trends for 2017/18 – Translucid. Warm, beige colors deal with aspects of the skin, while dark and light blues express digitalization of the human body.

The designers of BASF’s Coatings division translated the question of individual data control, as well as the need for an extensive gathering of information for technical and social possibilities into a collection of 65 new automotive colors.

Digital Shifts – Intense Blues and New Light Colors

Black Automotive
LK Black – designed in EMEA

In the digital world, the beauty of the body and other analog objects gain more attention with an increasing number of people looking to hide from data collectors and surveillance. This trend affects the automotive color palettes. Warm, beige colors deal with aspects of the skin, while dark and light blues express digitalization of the human body.

Increasing Connection – Pastel and Chromatic Colors


In addition, data exchanged without the confines of time and space create fluid boundaries. Cars are developing from vehicles into highly complex products that communicate intensively with drivers and the environment. The intricacy of our connection to objects is reflected in dimensional sparkle and a mixture of crisp and clear effects. Pastel and chromatic colors and intense blues represent the image of new technologies and emphasize the uniqueness of the digital age.

In general, the relationship of fascination and fear as seen in the reflection in our digital mirror oscillates between dark and medium grays.

Color Expertise of the Coatings Division


The designers of BASF’s Coatings division in China, Japan, the United States and Germany develop up-and-coming colors for the automotive industry every year conducting extensive research and in-depth analysis. They uncover global trends and cultural shifts that will influence vehicle color choices three to five years from now. In addition to identifying global trends, the regional design teams find unique themes influenced by local circumstances and conditions in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), North America and Asia Pacific.

Asia Pacific – Back to Culture

Blue Automotive
Undercurrent Blue – designed in North America

Products with a unique Asian style are taking on a prominent role in the markets. These new Asian styles reflect the uncompromising spirit of a new generation. This is expressed in a variety of choices, such as pearl white: iconic colors standing for the region’s unique spirit.

In an environment of connectivity and constant high pressure to meet expectations for education and achievement, Asia’s younger generation is striving to become unbound. The millennial generation seeks unconventional options for advancement, to challenge stereotypes and to attract attention with self-confident coolness.

Asian societies are revealing completely new facets of freedom. Free will is explicitly expressed with the mantra “I’m taking my future into my own hands.” Diverse groups, which have been demanding public attention, are becoming more self-assured and active.

A deep saturated red with brilliant glass flakes underscores the expressive spirit of the millennial generation in a smart, sophisticated style.

EMEA – Back to the Future


Up-and-coming colors in EMEA are off-the-grid. A gold effect color refers to a luxury-oriented product of the Arab world, while a warm brick-like color with a super-smooth effect is an upgrade for old times. People in EMEA are looking for the periphery of a global lifestyle and customized product landscapes. They want colors outside of the regular standard automotive palette – like a yellowish green with a mat clearcoat – to express individuality. The roads of Europe are going to be more vivid.

North America – Back to Nature


Technology’s encroachment on our daily lives – as well as the desire to break away and reconnect to a more natural world, the community and our own body – was explored as a trend contributing to BASF’s North America color predictions. The region’s key color is Undercurrent Blue, a very dark navy blue color with a silky texture that exudes a sense of mystery and celebration of self. This color leverages simple, in-use pigmentation technology, yet offers a sophisticated color position.

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Source: BASF
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