Matte car colors in muted earth tones are hot – but trendy paints come at a cost

Matte car colors in muted earth tones are hot – but trendy paints come at a cost

Rivian launched its “Earth Tones” palette in 2022, inspired by “greens from Pacific Northwest forests” and “reds and oranges from Colorado hills and valleys.”

  • Earthy, muted shades are becoming increasingly popular among car buyers, according to the LA Times.
  • Brands ranging from Jaguar and Rivian to Jeep have recently launched new dim, matte palettes.
  • The colors are a departure from the metallic, glossy paint used on many conventional cars.

Gone are the days of gleaming, metallic cars that shimmer in the sunlight – nowadays, car buyers are looking for new rides in subdued earth tones.

Muted cars are suddenly popping up everywhere, dotting freeways and parking lots in plain shades of gray, black, brown, gray, and green. According to the Los Angeles Times, the trend first hit the streets in 2013 when Audi debuted its popular Nardo Gray color, but it has gained momentum in recent years as demand for the color has increased.

Now, carmakers from Jaguar to Jeep have expanded their color schemes to include these matte shades, enticing car buyers with nature-themed hues like “Red Canyon” and “Glacier White” — The shades within Rivian’s “Earth Tones” palette in February 2022.

Kelley Blue Book described the trend in a 2022 blog, writing, “What we may also refer to as ‘flat,’ matte finishes do not shine like traditional car finishes.” “When we see a car in matte gray or matte black, the word ‘stealth’ comes to mind. When the matte finish is in another colour, ‘hot’ comes to our mind.”

But beware – the buzzy shades don’t come cheap. According to the Los Angeles Times, the colors are usually only available for select cars, often luxury models and sports cars, and can mean an upcharge of anywhere from $400 to $10,000.

Nina Sueys in a Jaguar F-Type in a special color theme during the Jaguar Land Rover presentation special vehicle operation "Das Neue Luxus-Zeilter) and a panel discussion at the Jaguar Land Rover Dealer Shop on November 30, 2021 in Munich, Germany.

Designer Nina Suess in front of the Jaguar F-Type in a special color theme during the 2021 Jaguar Land Rover presentation, Special Vehicle Operations, in Munich, Germany.
Gisela Schober/Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover

“People are willing to go up trim levels and pay a surcharge for these colors because some of the cars look best [them]Evan Drury, director of information at automotive information service Edmonds, told the LA Times. ,

This kaleidoscope of muted car colors was anticipated by Paul Jörnij, head of automotive color design in the US at paint supplier BASF, who told Axios in 2021 that consumers can expect more complex colors and textures.

“Remember, your car is an outward expression of who you are,” Jörnij told Axios. “The color of the paint, how bold or muted it is, depends on what you’re trying to convey about your personality.”

Beyond personal expression, others say the trend is driven by a growing interest in eco-friendly living and sustainability.

“We are seeing social/political movements that are responding to this environmental concern and drawing more attention to using less artificiality and going as real and natural as possible,” said Leatrice Eisman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. Are.” LA Times.

Whatever the reason, consumers are reacting. Derek Joyce, a spokesman for Hyundai Motor North America, told the Los Angeles Times that muted shades of its Hyundai Santa Cruz model are selling more than traditional colors.

The styles are also popping up on TikTok, where users are sharing videos of their matte cars, or transforming old models using new trendy paints.

One user wrote, “You can never go wrong with matte black.”

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