After seven years in first place, silver ran into tough competition last year with white/white pearl taking the lead for vehicle color in North America. White/white pearl, silver and black/black effect were in a near-dead heat for first, but white/white pearl grabbed the top spot, according to the report issued by the DuPont’s Automotive Systems business.

White also overcame silver in Japan and is the decisive leader in Mexico, more than doubling the popularity of gray. DuPont has tracked color statistics for more than 55 years and reports trends in color preference. This year, DuPont sees white/white pearl as a trend-shifting color, and anticipates the new black metallic and other colors will increase in popularity. Red also continues to gain ground in nearly all segments.

The study is a benchmark for the auto industry. But its influence reaches beyond cars and trucks. “We are not surprised to see a proliferation of white/white pearl. It follows the global trends in home furnishings, fashion, consumer products, and industrial design, reflecting, in effect, layers of white,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of Color: Messages and Meanings.