Why Are Car Colors So Boring?

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We don’t know. A quick Google search reveals that no one else knows either. The most common guesses are:

  • People wonder if they’ll grow tired of a specialty color
  • People think specialty colors will be harder to sell
  • Apple doesn’t use specialty colors

That last guess about Apple is so silly we were shocked to see it repeated. Nonetheless, the common denominator behind the above reasons could be summed up in a single word: caution.

Many people think the Great Recession spooked folks

If you’re worried about your livelihood, you want to be able to liquidate assets at a moment’s notice. People seem to forget that the more rare something is, the more it’s worth (usually).

Take rocks, for instance. Like white, black, and silver cars, rocks are everywhere. Diamonds on the other hand, are not everywhere. They are rare. That makes them valuable.

One site correctly pointed out that yellow cars have higher resale value than white cars for exactly this reason.

A more logical approach: cold-hearted rationality

No articles made the more obvious argument that manufacturers did the math and realized that the market for specialty colors did not justify their production. All it takes is one study saying specialty-colored cars take longer to sell and boom: no more special colors.

However, we would argue that (as Apple has proved many times) people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. It’s a gamble to make a new color and hope people like it, but that’s the only way to know if it will be a success. While it would entail more risk, it’s possible that customers would have higher levels of satisfaction.

What will it take for manufacturers to offer better colors?

Risk-averse people typically don’t change behavior until they can confirm with their own eyes that everything will be just as good, if not better, once they change.

In the auto industry this means that someone will have to go first and enjoy such profit-making success that everyone else will be clamoring to jump on the bandwagon.

Either that or enough people have to get custom paint jobs to show their preference for newness.

What do you think about all this? Tell us in black font against a white background over on the neutrally-blue shades of Facebook.

Why Are Car Colors So Boring? was last modified: January 28th, 2016 by Mercedes-Benz Raleigh
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