Editor's note: BASF's coatings arm generated global sales of $3.2 billion last year. The figure was incorrect in earlier versions of this story. Also, BASF's Paul Czornij said he expected blue to join white and other neutrals as the most popular color among car buyers. His comment was misinterpreted in a previous version of this story.
DETROIT -- Deep and non-saturated blues emerged as top car hues in automotive paint supplier BASF Coatings' annual color trends report, a 65-color recommendation for automakers.
Those concept colors, which could appear on vehicles in the next four to five years, reflect societal changes such as young people migrating to cities, a digital era and a person's need to connect with nature.
"Blue continues to gain strength as an automotive color," Paul Czornij, head of design for automotive paint supplier BASF's Color Excellence Group, said. "It has a calming effect and a strong correlation with natural things."
Czornij expects the color to join white and other neutrals as the most popular color among car buyers.
The effects of technology on a person's mood, which then impacts expression, also inspired this year's color compilation, according to Czornij.
"The expressive part of the car, which is on the outside, is the projection of who you are to the rest of the world," Czornij said.
The idea of digitalization led Czornij's team to create their key color, a dark navy blue shade called "Undercurrent Blue." Other top North American colors in this year's report include "Cabochon," a mild turquoise blue, and "Abyss" a metallic variation of black.
The three shades are examples of "Translucid," the overall theme of the report, which describes a desire for more simplicity and transparency in a digital world.
The colors won't be spotted on cars immediately, Czornij said, they'll be presented to automakers in the U.S. who can then decide which ones they want to incorporate.