White BMW M3 Convertible

There seems to be a worldwide shift to white from silver as the most popular choice for a car’s colour. According to DuPont’s survey last year, white and pearl white narrowly took the top spot in colour choices in North America, is the leader by a large margin in Mexico. Car manufacturers such as BMW have noticed this shift towards white in North America, and have been styling their concept and show cars in white. This was what lead to that incident where Chris Bangle said BMW were displaying a “axis of white power”, which many interpreted to be a racist statement, which he clarified later.

“Our customers are looking at niche colors and effects, including matte finishes and warm neutrals with effect. The rise in popularity of white/white pearl and the long reign of silver suggest that we can expect a more dramatic shift in the top color choice,” says Karen Surcina, color marketing and technology manager – DuPont Automotive Systems.

“We are not surprised to see a proliferation of white/white pearl in DuPonts report this year. (this was said back in 2007) It follows the global trends in home furnishings, fashion, consumer products (iPod, Macbook?) and industrial design where were seeing a return to white as a clarifying agent before change, a color of purity and minimalism. White also is considered a fashion statement. The car you drive is a fashion statement, and consumer preferences for white agree. White pearl itself is a combination of many colors, allowing an ability to change, reflecting, in effect, layers of white,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

The opposite is happening in Japan. White has been the choice of colour in Japan for the longest time. It’s quite monotonous to see endless seas of white cars in the city or on highways, as what I’ve observed when I was in Tokyo in October last year. But these are mostly older cars back from the 90s – the modern cars there are slowly beginning to take on non-white shades, with black and silver slowly overtaking white in terms of new car colour percentages, though white still maintains a strong foothold.

Perhaps the Japanese desire for individuality is finally creeping into colour choices, or it could be a result of a shift to more smaller cars being purchased, which are marketed with fun colours.

If you look around, white doesn’t seem to be very popular in Malaysia, and in many instances if you see a white car it’s most likely to be a police car. But we can see many opting for white with the latest generation Toyota Camry, a sign that Malaysians are also shifting towards white?

Look after the jump for a promo video featuring a white BMW M3.

VIDEO: White BMW M3 Promo VideoMore BMW M3 videos