Why 2020 Was A Grey Year For UK Automotive

Sat 16th Jan 2021

The future is no longer black or white, for the third year in succession, the colour grey has proven to be the most popular choice for a new car colour.

Figures released this week showed that almost a quarter of all new cars came with a grey colour scheme, a total of 397,197, which perhaps reflects the dark mood the nation is currently in due to the pandemic.

Black and white were the next most popular colours, followed by blue, red, silver, orange, green yellow and bronze. The top ten was almost identical to 2019’s colours, though a 50 per cent rise in the popularity of yellow pushed it above bronze into ninth place. Whilst yellow is on the rise, the colour red is on the decline, slipping below 200,000 registrations in what is its worse year since 1997.

The figures, which were published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders also had some quirky information, revealing that Leicester is the most popular destination for pink cars and the car buying public of the West Midlands have a thing for orange. White is the most popular colour for small cars, but black remains the top choice when it comes to luxury.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “2020 was a pretty dark year for the automotive industry and having grey as the top new car colour probably reflects the atmosphere.

“The sector, however, continues to provide valuable mobility, from vans delivering essential goods to private cars helping key workers do their jobs, and click and collect offers a lifeline for the industry, helping to keep manufacturing going.

“It cannot, however, replace the showroom experience and the sector has taken great steps to ensure dealers are Covid-secure with the flexibility to manage customer appointments so car buyers can choose a new car and colour in a safe environment.”