CONTACTTRAFFICABOUT TOM VANDERBILTOTHER WRITING CONTACT ABOUT THE BOOK

Hue and Drive

The FT notes a recent global survey on car colors. I’m surprised that white has the pole position in the U.S.; maybe it’s geographical, but I don’t see that many of them round these parts. I always seem to get a white car (and I’m not happy about it) at a rental agency; maybe that throws off the results? I’ve also often wondered if they favored white cars to show off damage more easily?

I’m also note sure what explains this: “China is the only region where orange is a popular option: 3 per cent of Chinese car buyers chose it.”

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 2:18 pm and is filed under Cars. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Hue and Drive”

  1. MikeOnBike Says:

    Are they counting commercial vehicles? They’re usually white from the factory. Vans, trucks, fleet cars, etc. They start with a white vehicle, then add company logos, decals, etc.

  2. Tony Toews Says:

    I had trouble reading the light blue letters on the white background.

    And I have to admit that bar graphs would’ve made it much easier to compare numbers from one colour to another.

  3. Greg Devine Says:

    In Japan, white cars are considered “lucky” and are often thought to have a better re-sale value, at least according to my wife. I did see quite a few white cars over there, and when we moved back to Canada my wife wanted a white car, but the salesman talked her out of it by explaining how often we would have to wash it, especially in the grimy winters we have in Toronto.

    Could it be that the Chinese have a similar opinion with orange cars?

  4. Botswana Meat Commission FC Says:

    C’mon yellow!

    Looks like only 2% of North Americans are hip to the awesomeness that is “Pussy Magnet Yellow.”

  5. Angela S Says:

    I bet if the data was more narrowly charted by region a clear correlation would emerge between hotter, sunnier climates and lighter-colored vehicles. People in hot climates don’t want to climb into a black car which has been in the sun all day, and people in snowy, icy climates don’t want to see the road grime on their car during the 6 months of the year when they can’t easily wash it.

  6. gpsman Says:

    Angela makes good points for those who think before buying a car (or care about color).

    Back when I was in the car business white cars were considered most salable, in that few people were thought to have an aversion to white as they might for black or red.

    That said, some real car “sales/persons” will knock themselves out trying to sell a car in a color for which a prospective customer has expressed a dislike, just as a demonstration of their persuasiveness or customer control.

  7. tacotodd Says:

    I suspect the white cars include A LOT of government-owned vehicles. Almost all of the general use ones in NC are white.

  8. DoctorJay Says:

    Tom, do you see mostly black and silver? I bet it’s due to your geography in NYC. Lots of Europeans and psuedo-europeans. I live in Hoboken and it seems like its 60% black cars on the road.

  9. Dave Fisher Says:

    do they include mexico in north america?
    many mexicains prefer white as it stays cooler in the tropical sun.
    i live in mexico and most of the cars, vans, pickups and trucks are white
    at least here on the pacific coast.

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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

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