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BASF - Silver Stays at the Fore - Changes Through New Special Effects

Published on 2004-01-27. Author : SpecialChem

Münster, Germany. Most cars in the world will continue to be silver in the next few years. The color itself, however, will change: instead of hard and metallic, the trend is going towards silver-white hues and special color effects in silver hues.

As a whole, "automobile clothing" is becoming more colorful, so says BASF Coatings' most current prognosis. After close consultation with the designers of all automobile manufacturers in the respective regions, the color experts of BASF Coatings, Renate Weber (Europe), Jon Hall (North America), and Eiji Fujimori (Asia-Pacific) have presented their annual color trend forecast for future vehicle design.

Experience has shown that the predicted trends will show up in automobile design within three to six years from their presentation. Europe: For Europe, Renate Weber expects new technical silver hues with a new image based on innovative special effects or soft shades.

At the same time, she predicts new facets approaching white silver, a natural white, and a number of interesting gray hues. Silver white, gray, light blue, soft turquoise, and pale greenish yellow suit this trend. Renate Weber says, "Everything is very delicate, very soft, and very feminine; even male customers prefer this." She sees the reason for the new color schemes in people's social behavior: "We strive for perfection, and once we have achieved it, we long for naturalness."

"Energy and beauty" are the keywords the expert uses to summarize another major trend in Europe. Energy and fire are symbolized by yellow, orange, and red. Peace is symbolized by soft gray and green hues. Earth and the energy of growth are symbolized by beige, brown, and gold. Beauty is symbolized by bright, luminous colors. Orange, red, green, yellow, and blue are part of this trend.

Even the Europeans' desire for "privacy" will soon be reflected in automobile colors, says Renate Weber. The colors that would stand for privacy (retreat, contemplation, peace, luxury) are beige, anthracite, gray, or gold. "In times of global networking, people also long for familiarity," explains Renate Weber. The color hues for this trend are thus midnight blue, various nuances of green, creamy beige, sienna red, and yellow.

North America: Silver will remain dominant also in the North American region. It has, however, already passed its peak in this region as well. Though demand for silver, gray, and white hues will continue, more colorful hues will become increasingly important each year. "The dominant position of silver will wane," predicts color stylist Jon Hall. He presents new results of the work done at the development laboratories of BASF Coatings: "We can create wonderful new metallic effects with powder." In addition, a new high-class metallic effect was developed, which is based on new treatments of common aluminum flakes. Without the use of the conventional method of highly developed layering to create light interference, a somewhat smoother, holographic color effect has arisen. "We believe that this special effect can have the same universal attractiveness as white mica hues and extremely iridescent hues did in the past," explains Hall.

In addition to glitter effects and new silver and white hues, Jon Hall sees blue as continuing to be a growing trend for North America. Rich glitter effects are particularly important here. Green continues to show a downward trend, except in the case of hues that tend toward black. For green, Hall suggests a nuance of blue to make the color attractive again. Red has probably reached its low point in North America. Hall hopes that new pigments that create a bluer red will contribute to new popularity.Red, blue, copper, and gray hues that tend toward black have the hard metallic shine of American trucks or a mysterious appearance. Their attractiveness is based on neutrality since these colors have a neutrality similar to black.

Asia/Pacific: Eiji Fujimori has four concepts for his color prognosis for the Asia-Pacific region: optimism, wooded landscape, nature of the future, and energy. Optimism is reflected in a bright, colorful palette. Green, beige, and brown remind you of a wooded landscape as a symbol of relaxation. Silver and white hues and metallic effects stand for the "nature of the future." The keyword "energy" comprises sensual and mysterious colors such as red or black hues. BASF : A major international player in coatings BASF Coatings AG belongs to the global Coatings Division of the BASF Group. In 2002 the Coatings Division achieved world sales of 2.1 billion euros.

The Coatings Division develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints, and also the processes needed to apply them. In this business, eco-efficient water- based, powder and high-solids coatings as well as radiation-curable systems play a special part.

In Brazil, the company has been successful in the decorative paints market for years and holds the leading position. BASF has a major, global presence in the Coatings sector, with significant market positions in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region, for example with affiliates in Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.

The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.de BASF is the world's leading chemical company, offering its customers a range of high-performance products, including chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as crude oil and natural gas. Its distinctive approach to integration, known in German as "Verbund," is its strength. It enables BASF to achieve cost leadership and gives the company a competitive advantage. BASF conducts its business in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. In 2002, BASF had sales of about €32 billion (circa $34 billion) and over 89,000 employees worldwide. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA), New York (BF), Paris (BA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

Source: BASF Coatings

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