Indians love to paint the town red more than any other people. And not just on Holi. All through 2009, we bought more red cars — in percentage terms — than people in other countries.
Red was the third most popular car colour in India with 16.1 per cent market share — double the global average of eight per cent. Only North America came close with 12 per cent red cars. However, in the order of preference, red was sixth in America, as also in the rest of the world.
Another interesting finding of the 57th annual DuPont Global Automotive Color Popularity Report is the preference for yellow and golden cars in India. Together, the yellow/gold colour family took the ninth slot worldwide in 2009, accounting for just one per cent of cars sold. In India, though, yellow/gold took fifth place with six per cent of all cars sold.
Over all, silver was the most popular car colour in India, in line with the rest of the world. White, the preferred colour since the days of the Ambassador, was a close second. However, black, which was the second most popular colour worldwide in 2009, managed only the sixth place in India with a modest 5.6 per cent sales. Henry Ford would have had to rethink his “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black” pitch here.
While Indians experimented with bold colours, South Koreans emerged as the most conservative people, with silver, black and white accounting for 82 per cent of cars sold in 2009. Even Brazil, defying its carnival image, played safe with 82 per cent of cars sold there being silver, black, grey and white.
Russians, our old allies, proved to be the only other really colourful people. They flipped for green big time — 18.2 per cent cars against the global average of 1 per cent — and also showed a strong liking for blue — 15.5 per cent.
And the Chinese? The Dragon mirrored global preferences almost to a ‘T’. Or was it the other way around, what with China becoming the biggest market for cars and commanding a heavy weight in global averages?
Yet, there was a bright speck even in China’s conformist streak — one per cent of their cars were orange.