Brown cars are increasing in popularity. Though still a rare sight on the roads, particularly on modern cars, it appears the stigma attached to brown cars may slowly be lessening.
Recently a whole host of manufacturers have unveiled brunette tones for new cars such as Mercedes-Benz’s cuprite brown E-Class in 2009, followedby Audi’s “special order” Ipanema brown on the R8 Spyder. We have also noticed a recent trend towards brown cars being displayed at motor shows,as well as in press photos.
The mere mention of the colour brown can often register an expression of pure disgust on people’s faces, but is this really justified?
According to colour psychology, brown hues have a multitude of plus points over the few minus points of being dull, dirty, conservative and slightly melancholic. Supposedly they evoke natural, earthy, warm and comforting feelings and in that case a brown car should create an aura of strength, security, and reliability. Though we’re not entirely convinced.
Brown is additionally considered chic and sophisticated, particularly in the world of fashion and interior design where this colour is definitely right on trend. Brown is a masculine colour and men have a much greater propensity to name brown as their favourite colour.
Interestingly, delivery company UPS selected brown as their brand colourbecause it “reflected class, elegance and professionalism”, mentioning that dirt is also less visible on brown vehicles, which is definitely an advantage!
Some interesting findings were published in The British Medical Journal in 2003, regarding a study conducted by researchers in New Zealand, who indicated that there may be a link between car colours and serious injuries as a result of car accidents. It was pointed out that drivers of brown cars had the highest risk of sustaining serious injuries.
The safest colour was silver, which also correlates with Dupont’s report where silver was the most popular colour. Clearly more studies need to be carried out before making any serious judgements.
The colour does seem to be having a significant comeback. Auto paint firm Dupont released results from their annual Global Automotive Colour Popularity report last week in which Brown/Beige came 7th out of 10, with 3% of cars being purchased in this colour. Analysts noted a trend towards these colours increasing in popularly.
Michelle Killen, head of external paint design at GM North America, claims that “brown is the new black”. The colour accounts for 8% of all sales in North America this year (up 5.5% on last year’s figures).
In Mexico, brown cars now make up 5% of the market, a significant uplift from last year. Though brown is actually the colour of mourning in India, it is the third most popular colour and captures 11% of the Indian market.
With a bit of imagination one can envision the appeal of dark and delicious chocolate tones, luxurious mahogany wood, stylish tan leather and rich golden java coffee. We think this neutral colour is particularly well suited to luxury brands and SUVs and hope that you will at least contemplate this unconventional choice!