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Your vehicle's colour is revealing

By Rita DeMontis ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:12 AM EDT | Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 09:11 PM EDT

TORONTO - Gold may be going through the roof but Canadians are coveting silver.

As in the colour of their new car.

According to a new study by Leger Marketing, commissioned by Ford of Canada, Canadians are loyal to traditional colours, and when it comes to current cars, silver/grey is by far the most popular at 22.3%, with black at 14.1%, blue at 13.6%, then red well behind at 11.6%.

As for the white, considered a global favourite, well, it languishes a distant fifth choice at 6.9%, messy winter snow a reason why it’s not as common.

Rounding out the choices are green at 6%, gold at 3.8% and orange at 0.4%. Eleven per cent of Canadians surveyed chose a colour other than those listed.

“People form an emotional connection with colour and there is something very personal to buyers about the hue of their cars,” says Susan Swek, Ford’s chief designer for colour and materials. “Our internal research shows up to 40% of car buyers say they would walk out of a dealership if they couldn’t buy a car in the colour they wanted.”

The study also discovered the propensity to choose an unconventional colour actually increases with age — hello, mid-life crisis — and women are much more likely to go for red. And no — it’s an urban myth that red cars are most likely to be stolen than any other car.

As for what your car colour choice says about you, Swek says there are specific attributes associated to the top five colour choices in Canada — and your choice of car colour does reveal glimpses of your driver personality:

Silver: “Since silver and grey are technical colours, they communicate a sense of aspiration and at times, an embrace of futurism.”

Black: “Overall black communicates strength, aspiration and a respect for the classic and the elegant.”

Blue: “Darker blue is perceived as more traditional. However, a bright or light blue is the opposite and is seen as the least ‘classic’ of the other colour groups.”

Red: “A colour which screams sporty and energetic but in certain shades can also be associated with distinction.”

White: “White is clean and modern. Premium specialty whites (also known as ‘tri-coat whites’) are also associated with luxury and ‘premium-ness,’

“Colour is a simple way to allow people to add a personal touch to their lives,” Swek says. “It’s something that speaks to them and expresses a little bit of their personality.”

But what’s popular in the west may not float in the east, and while overall Canadians play it safe, each region demonstrates specific preferences that stand out from the crowd, notes the study, which found although we tend to think of the younger generation as the risk-takers, the propensity to choose an unconventional colour actually increases with age, 20% for 65+ versus 5% for ages 18 to 34.

The likelihood of choosing red steadily increases while the likelihood of choosing black steadily decreases as the population gets older. Men are much more likely to choose black (20.4% versus 12.9%), while women are much more likely to choose red (13.8% versus 8.9%). The study showed 19% of Canadians making $80,000 or more per year are more likely to select black, than the 11% who make less than $40,000K per year.

Single individuals are also more likely to choose black, 27% versus 13% among those who are married.

What Do Colours Say About Canadians?

— Residents of Atlantic Canada have a surprisingly high amount of gold-coloured cars (8.4%) and also have the country’s highest instances of red cars (18.4%).

— Albertans have the highest preference for blue cars in the country (16%), followed closely by Quebecers (15.4%).

— Drivers in Quebec are also most likely to choose an unconventional colour, one not listed in the top eight (12.8%).

— Ontarians have the greatest percentage of black cars in the country (17.1%) and are least likely to covet a blue one (12.9%).

— Though drivers in British Columbia have an above average love of green coloured cars (8.3%), residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the ‘greenest’ (9.9%). Residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan also have the highest preference for white (14.2%).

What are the most popular colours globally? Ford learned from the latest international color study by Du Pont that nearly half of all vehicles sold in Turkey are white, French and Italian motorists like cream-coloured vehicles, black is the colour of choice for most drivers in Norway, Portugal, Germany and Russia.

Only one country in Europe has a top colour other than white, black or silver: The Czech Republic chooses blue.

The Top Three

Ford asked Canadians what colour is their current or most recent car. Below are the top three Canadian markets for each.


1. British Columbia
2. Alberta (tie)
Atlantic Canada (tie)


1. Ontario
2. Atlantic Canada
3. Quebec


1. Alberta
2. Quebec
3. Manitoba/Saskatchewan


1. Atlantic Canada
2. British Columbia
3. Quebec


1. Manitoba/Saskatchewan
2. Alberta
3. British Columbia


1. Manitoba/Saskatchewan
2. British Columbia
3. Atlantic Canada


1. Atlantic Canada
2. Alberta
3. Ontario


1. Atlantic Canada
2. Manitoba/Saskatchewan
3. Alberta

Unconventional colour

(outside of the top 8 listed)

1. Quebec
2. Manitoba/Saskatchewan
3. Ontario
Well I guess I'm an exception. At least I'm not a 'common statistic'. whistle.gif
I have 2 red Smarts.... one Phat red and one 'racing' red.
Whereas I used to be much sportier in my youth, I'm no longer very energetic. I am a bit distinctive though (at least in my own mind).
Oh and I'm old, I'm a guy and I apparently live in the wrong province.
Thinking back, out of more than two dozen vehicles I've owned, only one other was red.... a '68 AMC Javelin (sexy, eh?).
BTW - a young banker I know (female) tells me that Phat stands for Pretty Hot And Tasty. Who knew? rolleyes.gif
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