It seems the colors people most prefer on their vehicles are not really colors at all.
White has been hot of late. Since 2011, it has been the most popular color in North America, according to PPG Industries' North America color popularity chart. In 2015, white beat black 23 to 19 percent, followed by gray at 17 percent and silver at 15 percent.
In other words, neutral colors occupied the first four spots in PPG's chart.
"From about 2000-2010 silver was the most popular color," says Jane Harrington, manager of color styling for PPG Automotive OEM Coatings in Troy, Mich. PPG bills itself as the world's largest automotive paint and coatings company.
And white's popularity in North America pales (sorry) in comparison to other parts of the world. In the Asia-Pacific region, white accounted for 44 percent of vehicles built, dwarfing second-place black at 16 percent. In South America, white beat silver 36 to 31 percent, and in Europe, white outshone black 31 to 18 percent.
Harrington says her colleagues in China told her white is hot there.
"White is a fashionable, trendy color," she says. "It makes a smaller car look larger. It stays clean longer."
But once you start to break color preferences by segment, it's not a black or white thing.