The Word Works

Consuming Japan


Changing Preferences in Car Colors

Published By: John on 10/08/06
Categories: Hit Products

image The graph you see here is taken from the Sunday, October 8, 2006 edition of the Asahi Shimbun. It shows how Japanese tastes in car colors have changed from 1965 (top bar) to 2005 (bottom bar).

The article that follows the graph tells us that since 2004, grey is the most popular car color in Japan. Add the fact that white has been in first or second place since 1975 and one might be tempted to conclude that an era dominated by “colorless” cars continues. In this respect, Japan contrasts with Europe and the USA where, while grey cars have become more popular, red and blue cars also sell well. The author notes, however, that the precise meaning of white and grey has varied over time. The currently most popular grey is silver with a small touch of pink. One authority cited suggests that this is a “therapeutic color” soothing to drivers stressed by an increasingly competitive society. The author observes that he chose silver-grey because it is the color on which dirt is least likely to stand out.


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