There is also evidence that vehicle colour trends are just as prevalent as trends in other fashion markets.

“Red used to be by far and away the most popular colour, but then that was supplanted,” explains Shaw. “It looks like white is in the ascendancy now. Dark greys, blacks and blues are always popular, as they are in men or women’s clothing, but just like any other fashion the different car colours come in and out of fashion.”

It’s therefore important to notice trends and react to them quickly when it comes to vehicle design.

“Identifying rising trends and selecting signature colours are a big part of what we do, and we know how important it is to get the right colour into the market at the right time,” Francis adds.  “Too early and it won’t have registered on the customers’ radar, too late and the popularity of a particular colour will have already reached its peak,”

And with 2011 seeing the launch of the all-new Ford Focus, boasting striking colours like Candy Yellow, Candy Red and Mars Red, or the stunning Tangerine Scream previewed on the Focus ST model at the Paris Motor Show, this year may well see some hot new colour trends emerge throughout Europe.

A major paint supplier, Du Pont produces an annual overview of colour trends from around the world, and it reveals some more interesting trends for different regions. According to its figures Europe’s top colours are blacks and greys, while Asian countries opt primarily for white and silver hues. South America is also a fan of silver while North America’s top picks are the contrasting colours of black and white. Globally, silver was the most popular choice with 26% of the figures in 2010, with red (6%) and blue (5%) lagging behind as fifth and sixth most requested colours. Meanwhile, the brown/cream palette went down reasonably well, accounting for 3% of Du Pont’s 2010 sales, with intermediate size vehicles and MPVs in Europe being the biggest takers of this colour range.