BASF’s latest car colour trends reflect new optimism and a positive mood

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 09 Oct 2020

BASF has released its 2020-2021 Automotive Colour Trends collection with a variety of shades and effects that show the way of modern automotive coatings.

Designers of BASF’s Coatings division around the globe created the collection, called CODE-X, with everything from new, re-imagined whites, to the darkest of jet blacks, and a variety of vibrant colour spaces in-between. The colours serve as inspiration to automotive designers for vehicles that will be on the road in three to five years. Many have effects or textures, making them a tactile experience as well as a visual and emotional experience.

The global key colours vary from a greyish green, to a warm beige, to a coarse gray. As new thinking drives big transitions in the values around society, identity and progress, this collection represents the blend of the physical and digital worlds to stay hopeful and positive while coping with change.

EMEA – Bold, distinct positions
The key colours of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) are soothing, calming colours with bold, new, distinct positions. There’s a huge variety of effects in these colours that are inescapable, yet approachable. There are things to see, things to explore and things to be surprised by. “We are in a time when nothing is the same. We may reference the old colours, but add something new, something different,” said Mark Gutjahr, head of Automotive Color Design, EMEA.

Asia Pacific – Positive, flexible attitude
Asia Pacific’s key colours reflect a positive, flexible attitude for change, action and the future. They are warm and emotional colours with a steady mood. They are not black or white, but more blurred and floating, like human emotion.

“Individuality is the trend in play here. We live for today and want to make the future better,” said Chiharu Matsuhara, head of design, Asia Pacific. “We try to enjoy life and be positive as much as possible, and change what we did in the past.”

North America – Grace and simplicity
North America’s future colour designs look to build off advancing colorant technologies that exhibit a greater sensitivity to the environment. Grace and simplicity will be the look of deep techno-sophistication.

“It’s not unusual to presuppose technological stewardship dominates research, but it’s refreshing to see just how much the consumer is willing to forego traditional norms of beauty in order to satisfy the hunger for smart and responsible colour designs,” said Paul Czornij, head of design, the Americas.

Why this colour trends study?
Every year, the designers of BASF’s Coatings division study future trends which they use as foundation for the development of surface, texture and colour positions. They draw inspiration from many things, including industry, fashion, consumer products, and nature. They share their research with BASF’s customers – the automotive designers – and help develop the colours of the future. 


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