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Hues Clues: Ruby Red, Blue Candy Tinted Clearcoat Among New Vehicle Colors Coming Down the Road at Ford
- Next-generation Ford palette will feature more complex metallics, tinted clearcoats, tri-coats and neutrals
- Ford designers have a timetable of three years out when developing color palette
- Research shows up to 40 percent of car buyers say they’d walk out of a dealership if they couldn’t buy a car in the color they wanted
DEARBORN, Mich., June 22, 2011 – Color is extremely important to consumers, playing a vital role in product purchases of all kinds.
“People form an emotional connection with color,” says Susan Swek, Ford Motor Company’s chief designer, Color and Materials. “They live with it; it surrounds them every day. So what Ford is doing is staying consistent with our leadership regarding our core colors and pushing the limits of technology to expand our specialty colors.”
That’s why the next generation of Ford vehicles will feature paint color shades that are deep, bold and even mysterious.
Expect to see more depth and range in the color options, says Swek – such as tinted metallics and neutrals and more complex tri-coats that offer increased shine and highlights.
“Consumers are going to see more complex colors that are raw and powerful with a lot of depth and special effects,” says Swek. “There isn’t just one trend coming on Ford vehicles of tomorrow. These trends are very diverse, and they’re definitely eye-catching.”
Today’s automobile designers are on the job 24/7 looking for inspiration, says Swek, and they find it all around them.
“Designers are inspired by whatever surrounds us and by whatever is personal to us,” she says. “We get ideas from nature, art, architecture, technology – everything. We look at social influences, trend services, what’s selling now and what’s sold in the past.”
The designers work together, often globally, on a timetable three years into the future.
“We don’t just pick a color and it winds up on a car,” Swek says. “We understand how important color is. I’ve talked to dealers who’ve told me that people have bought a car off the lot because of the color.”
Research backs that up: Up to 40 percent of car buyers said they would walk out of a dealership if they could not buy a vehicle in the color they wanted.
Core colors, specialty offerings
There is a large group of customers who prefer the basics, plain and simple. Despite an array of bright, vibrant vehicle color offerings every year, most U.S. customers on the coasts and customers in most European countries prefer the classic core colors – white, black, silver and gray.
Silver is the most popular vehicle color around the globe. Customers in Japan, Mexico and India prefer white. Only one country in Europe has a top color other than white, black or silver: The Czech Republic chooses blue.
While Ford is always upgrading and modernizing the fundamentals, designers know there’s a specialty market for brilliant brights as well.
When the Ford Fiesta launched in the U.S. in 2010, luscious paint shades like Lime Squeeze and Bright Magenta were in high demand, showing that both the basics and the bright could co-exist.
“Color is a simple way to allow people to add a personal touch to their lives,” says Swek. “It’s something that speaks to them and expresses a little bit of their personality.”
This year, consumers have already seen sneak peeks of what’s to come. The 2013 Ford Taurus, revealed at the New York Auto Show in April, was shown in the striking new Ruby Red shade.
“It’s a bold color that takes red to a new level,” Swek says.
And as for the new Blue Candy Tinted Clearcoat that’s part of the upcoming Ford palette, Swek calls it a real head-turner.
“When I saw a Blue Candy Tinted Clearcoat Focus driving down the street for the first time, it actually stopped me in my tracks,” she says.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.