Designers from BASF's Coatings division - a global expert in the development, production and marketing of innovative and sustainable automotive OEM and refinish coatings - say automotive color trends in the 2016/17 season see urban and natural inspired colors creating a parallax.

The main theme for this year's collection of 65 colors is "Parallax", based on a concept that objects appear shifted or changed when you observe them from different angles. According to BASF Coating, the two competing vantage points that shape our modern world are the fascination of the virtual world and the longing for honest self-expression.

Synthetic, metallic blue, silver and white hues represent the trend towards digitalization of our everyday life, while chromatic colors and natural hues demonstrate something quite opposite – a search for authentic experiences and emotions, especially in urban areas. The color portfolio of upcoming, future cars will be enriched with innovative pigment effects, enabling two or more colors to be combined along with metallic urban shades.

The final choice of what kind of colours will be included in the automobile coating pallette is heavily influenced by distinctive local specialities, they say at BASF. In Europe, for example, ASMR Blue, an intense metallic blue, which combines a digital look and feel with a materialized metallic effect and pefectly fits with the topic of Parallax, will be very popular. A sequence of colors ranging from blood red (representing an inner feeling which leads to new ways of change) to darker reds and with anthracite and blacks are coming up not only as European, but world trends as well. Black is also making a big come-back in the automobile industry, creating deep dark impressions.

On the other hand, Asians are optimistic of their future, which is reflected in fresh, playful colors such as blue-green. They are also looking for creativity and quality, which is found in the delicate textures of a metallic sand beige color, demonstrating the connection between traditional values and typical Asian elegance. In North America, Raingarden, a soft sophisticated silver that transitions between green and blue, depending on the viewing angle, is getting its fair market share.

May 20, 2016 Driving photo: BASF

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