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Electric, blue, shared and autonomous – the cars of 2018

Blue will be a rising trend for car colours in 2018, together with growing trends towards electric, shared and autonomous cars
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December best seller: Volkswagen Golf, second in 2017 overall sales charts. Blue and electric are rising trends for 2018


18 December 2017

BLUE will be a rising trend for car colours in 2018 – because of how manufacturers are driving revenue around metallic and white paints.

Industry experts studied the upcoming motoring trends for 2018, and explained why the increase in blue is a result of manufacturers’ strategies rather than consumer preference.

Many industry commentators have identified blue as a key colour for 2018, noting the increasing number of blue cars that are expected on the roads. See Blue is the colour. noted that grey is its most popular colour followed by long-term staples black and white – but blue is coming up in fourth place as a growing trend.

It explained that when white became the most popular choice for cars, manufacturers lost revenue from metallic paints.

As a result, some began charging for solid white and some funders reduced the residual value on solid paint cars – making them more expensive on a monthly basis.

Manufacturers make more money selling metallic paint, so when white became a key trend, white paint became a chargeable colour to help make up the difference.

White is still very popular, but its cost means that other options, such as blue, can make more headway.

Other driving trends for 2018 include a rise in electric cars, with several new models due to enter the market over the coming year.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is the most hotly anticipated by commentators. This is the latest version of the all-electric, five-door hatchback, which was first introduced in 2010.

Electric vehicles are gaining popularity due to a general commitment to more eco-friendly driving, including incentives such as the Government’s plug-in grant for approved low-emission models.

They have also seen improvements in battery technology that increase the distance they can travel on a single charge.

In addition, experts foresee an increase in vehicle sharing, both in informal arrangements and as a cheaper way to use transport services such as taxis, coaches and couriers.

“E-hailing”, whereby customers book their vehicle using a phone or computer, is on the rise as well.

White is expected to remain the preferred colour worldwide, along with the classics black and grey.

But noted that the new colour palettes for cars show an increasing move towards blue and blue undertones, while industry figures show blue to be gaining popularity.

Tim Alcock of said: “It’s very interesting to see how manufacturers’ revenue-based strategies affect what we see on the roads.

“If we had to pick three colours in order of popularity we’d say grey, black and white, but after that comes blue.

“White is still obviously very sought after, because it’s the third most popular even though it’s often a chargeable extra.

“There are a lot of advances being made in areas such as e-hailing and electric cars, and it will be fascinating to see how they shape the way we use the roads.

“We won’t be seeing roads full of electric, driverless cars in 2018, but we can expect to see signs that they’re on their way.”

The top five driving trends for 2018

  1. Growth of electric vehicles: Electric cars still comprise only a small percentage of sales, but they continue to grow. Several new electric models are due on the market in the New Year, with the 2018 Nissan Leaf the most anticipated of all. Volvo says that every car it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor. Furthermore, alternatively fuelled car registrations have more than tripled in the last five years according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
  2. More vehicle sharing: Several analysts foresee a rise in car sharing, including taxis. McKinsey believes that at the rate the car-sharing trend is going, by 2030 as many as a tenth of all cars sold could be for sharing.
  3. Increase in ‘e-hailing’: Following on from the trend towards vehicle sharing is the rise in “e-hailing”. The success of taxi-sharing firm Uber has paved the way for more companies to set up services whereby people can use apps and the internet to club together to “e-hail” transport such as coaches and couriers, or book them for private use.
  4. Grey, black and white to dominate: These classic staples are set to remain the most popular colours on the road, but blue is following in fourth place.
  5. Driverless cars:While these won’t be on the roads any time soon, the industry will continue to work towards them in 2018. Audi America and technology firm NVIDIA have partnered together and plan to introduce a fully autonomous car in 2020.

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