For the first time in its five-year history, coatings manufacturer Axalta’s Automotive Color of the Year is showcasing a color primed for vehicle customisation both at manufacturing facilities and in the aftermarket. Sahara, a golden bronze tone, according to the company, radiates warmth, richness and strength for vehicles of all sizes – especially the expanding global truck and SUV markets – and can serve as the principal colour for two-tone possibilities including black roofs.
“At Axalta, we are seeing car designers leaning toward options for two-toning, accent roofs and stripes,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Color Marketing Manager. “When it comes to mass customization, Sahara is the type of colour that can serve as the foundation for these premium options.”
Borne from Axalta’s ChromaDyne line of colour coats formulated for global automotive manufacturers, Sahara is partly inspired by global trends for warmer shades highlighted in the company’s Global Automotive Color Popularity Report. Yellow/gold vehicles are most popular in India and China while brown/beige vehicles increased in North America more than any other region.
Sahara is Axalta’s fifth Colour of the Year following Radiant Red (2015), Brilliant Blue (2016), Gallant Gray (2017), and StarLite (2018). StarLite, a pearlescent white, introduced coatings technology into the autonomous vehicle discussions. Axalta colours under development are tested for readability by autonomous sensors, and Sahara is formulated for visibility.
According to Dan Benton, Axalta Refinish Color Marketing Manager, Axalta’s Color of the Year is another example of how Axalta transfers OEM technology to the aftermarket and repair businesses. “We get calls every year from some of the industry’s best custom builders looking to use color to differentiate their products,” he said. “We have Sahara formulated and ready-to-go in our industry-leading refinish brands including Cromax, Standox and Spies Hecker.”