As always on the last day of the year, I look back on the year to go and try to predict what the new year is about to bring. Well, I am not a fortune teller (unfortunately), but being in the automotive refinishing industry for long enough, probably a few tendencies in the trade I can try to predict.
Personalize Your Ride
The aesthetic appeal of paints continues to evolve with more complex metallic and pearl finishes, offering a deeper, more vibrant look with enhanced depth and luster. There’s a growing interest in paints that offer different textures, allowing for more personalized and unique finishes on vehicles.Unique color schemes and finishes became a status symbol. Think of it as tailor-made suits, but for your car. I strongly believe that car manufacturers will continue to experiment further with vehicles’ colors and finish.
The growing trend of flat grey cars that started with Nardo Grey by Audi and now every auto manufacturer has their own version of it. And now it’s spread from just flat gloss grey to flat gloss vibrant colors that are coming back into style. Audi in particular have Kyalami Green, Nogaro Blue, Vegas Yellow, Glut Orange, Tango Red, Riviera Blue etc.
Tech Meets Paint
With smarter cars, expect smarter paints. Paints that enhance radar and sensor visibility for those cool autonomous cars are on the horizon. It’s like your car’s paint is part of its intelligence system.This aligns with the overall trend in the automotive industry towards integrating technology with design.
ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) will continue evolving with less severe accidents on the roads. While we will definitely have less collision repair jobs in total, however there will be the whole new area to excel – calibration and repair of the above-mentioned systems.
BASF, a big name in automotive paints, is mixing things up with some non-traditional hues. They’re moving away from the usual whites, grays, and blacks, and bringing in some lighter shades, pastels, and even transparent blues. This is part of their ON VOLUDE collection which is all about fresh, expressive colors. They’re also focusing on sustainability and functionality, which is pretty cool. For instance, in North America, they’ve got this color called ZENOMENON that’s about color as a result of light play, kind of like a transparent blue but without traditional colorants. It’s all about conscious and customized design.In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), bright beige and pastels are emphasized. The Asia Pacific region sees a blend of traditional whites and grays with new shades like green pastel and fluorescent red.
Sustainability and environmental consciousness
A key aspect of projects, like ON VOLUDE is its emphasis on sustainability. The collection incorporates sustainable, recycled materials and concepts that are LiDAR and RADAR compatible. This reflects a growing trend in the automotive industry to combine aesthetic appeal with environmental responsibility.Another cool trend is VOC-free compounds in paints. These have minimal or no volatile organic compounds, making them safer for the environment and our health. It’s a big step towards more sustainable and eco-friendly practices in the industry and goes even further than waterborne coatings.
Finally, I would like one trend to be reversed. I mean a trend when less and less young people join our industry. We need younger generation to pursue a career in the car repair industry.
Happy New Year 2024 to everyone!