Theme: Colour Micropost

This must have been a launch colour, chosen for its eye-catching hue.

2004 Ford Focus three-door
2004 Ford Focus three-door

I notice mid-range colours are the ones people like least: mid-blue, mid-green, orange and bronze or caramel brown.

This one is getting tatty, alas.


And here’s the back.


Launch colours probably last two years before being dropped. I’ve never read that anywhere but it seems like a reasonable proposition. The last Mazda2 had some fun paints that are now not seen.

Here's another mid-range intro colour.
Here’s another mid-range intro colour.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

14 thoughts on “Theme: Colour Micropost”

  1. I have a theory that the lack of choice of colours is partly to do with whether a car is imported and the volumes it sells in. Manufacturers bring boatloads of cars over and have to second guess which colours to provide therefore it’s easier to go for the conservative colours. Now imagine you’re a private buyer who’s just spent time excitedly choosing your favourite colour and trim options on the website configurator then you go to your nearest dealer and they say – sure you can have your car in pistachio metallic with tobacco alcantara but it’ll be a 6 month wait and no discount. However, you can drive away today with a £3K discount if you plump for metallic grey with charcoal leather. Which would most people choose?

    1. Mark’s theory has validity, but who decides what colours appeal to who? As a case study I cite the Renault Kangoo Mark 1. Elsewhere Richard posted a picture of a nice yellow one, but this was unavailable in the UK where a deep green was the most exciting option. I’d have been happy to get a yellow one for our work, but had to settle on default silver.

      When I looked at the Mark 2 Kangoo, I got hold of an internal sales briefing that described the Kangoo demographic in such unflattering terms I nearly walked away (I wish I had, actually). Basically they sounded unfashionable to the point of dowdy, tight-fisted, geriatric or a combination. Maybe that reflected the people who bought Kangoo (except me naturally) which was, in turn, affected by the colours on offer?

      A lot of people are scared by colour. They think it gives too much of their personality away to choose a definite colour, so they choose nothing instead. If manufacturers flooded their lots with a rainbow of hues, it might be a lot better – buyers would have no choice but to make a choice.

  2. Forgot to say that I really like the copper orange of that ProC’eed. I’m not a fan of the Mk3 Mondeo but there’s an estate near me in that colour that looks great. Virtually all Mondeos in the UK are grey, black or white.

    1. I mentioned in a comment the other week that you can buy a Fusion/Mondeo in a nice bright red just about anywhere other than the UK, and it is one of the best colours for the car. Fortunately UK buyers do get a nice metallic red, but I have never seen one so painted.

  3. Sean, I can speak only for myself. I’ve bought primarily silver cars, most recently a white one. This not because I’m afraid of other colors, or so I say, but because I had a long commute that was in the dark half the year. I chose colors that could be seen.

    About the effect of importation on the number of colors’ offered. I believe, could be mistaken, that most of the Hondas sold in the US are made here. I just went to Honda’s US site. Civic sedans are offered in 8 exterior colors, 1 interior. The top-of-the-line Accord coupe is offered in 7/2. And so on.

    1. You need to add reflective strips on your car for a chance to be seen at night. Or better still, reflective wrap all over.
      Colour has very limited effect on visibility in the dark.

    2. Both these points have merits, but I think another consideration is familiarity. Even in daylight and good visibility, the overly-familiar becomes invisible. So, on a roadscape full of silver cars, a lilac one will catch your eye but, if the roads were full of lilac cars, then a silver one would stand out.

  4. Surely, that Focus is a non-original respray, I have never seen another like it!

    1. In the photo, it has the effect of a foil, more than a paint. Though if it was wrapped, it’s extremely well done, so it’s probably just the way the photo has turned out. Any paint system (like custom paints) that uses a tinted lacquer over a metallic base is, generally, a real pain to work with.

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