Driving Automotive Color Design with BASF, Auto News, ET Auto

Color is a major and strategic factor that defines the first impression of a vehicle. It calls attention to its shape and the automaker’s brand image. A well-suited color on a car can be a make-or-break decision for a potential buyer.

Designing a car color is challenging. It considers the complex interplay of hue, saturation, texture, surface, and metallic or pearlescent effects. BASF’s color designers continually monitor the trend indicators that determine the future look of vehicles, and create appealing colors for a very demanding market. BASF’s world leadership in color keeps automotive designers on the cutting edge, delivering what their customers want, and staying ahead of the competition.

Endless Variation Serves as Theme for BASF 2021-2022 Automotive Color Trend Collection

Each year, designers for BASF’s Coatings division create a new collection to inspire automotive designers. Delving into new color spaces, they also consider the growing demand for sustainability and functionality. This year’s collection is called SUPERPOSITION. A phenomenon from quantum mechanics, it defines a state where the limitation of binary systems is overcome.

In other words, things aren’t just black or white, heads or tails, one or zero. The world has an uncountable number of variations in-between. This collection immerses itself in those variations. Our designers pinpoint trends and the forward-looking signals that influence those trends as they work to create cutting-edge shades and reinforce BASF’s global leadership in color.

Asia Pacific: Recharge and Think Ahead with Mobius

Driving Automotive Color Design with BASF
Asia Pacific’s key color, Mobius, is a metaphor for a new way of thinking. It combines elements of light blue and warm brown. Mobius shows flexibility in different viewing angles with its unique color travel, in a society which has infinite possibilities opening up for everyone. Besides its rational aspects of color hue and travel, it evokes a notion of mystery. It has no limits, and no end. The overall SUPERPOSITION theme – many variations happening all at once – is summed up by Mobius and its unique mix of values ​​and aspects.

Americas: Striking the Concept of Balance with Lambent Earth

Driving Automotive Color Design with BASF
The key color for the region Americas, Lambent Earth, presents the essence of the bountiful energy and fragility in the world, combining a fiery glow with a natural brown. The hue comprises flashy effects and deeply saturated colors that extend beyond just being a pretty color; they’re a testament to the myriad of possibilities attainable from the physics of light dancing on a coated surface. The result is a balance that strikes a chord with human steadfastness. This color space anchors itself in optimism and resilience and shows the potential for humanity to move forward despite the challenges. Lambent Earth superpositions the aesthetic with technology, elevating color into new dimensions.

EMEA: Eye-opening and Thought Provoking with Spectora

Driving Automotive Color Design with BASF
The key color for EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) is distinct and different. Using a mid-tone pastel hue – not too aggressive or too loud – it shows its neo futuristic side: an orange straight shade offering a new technical look. Spectora combines technical properties like organic pigments and production processes that reduce CO2 by implementing the biomass balance approach by BASF, where energy from crude oil or gas is replaced by renewable sources. It’s a new way to approach color holistically, and Spectora’s orange color reveals a balanced composition.

Virtual Car Colors Now Accessible Via AUROOM

BASF takes pride in working closely with OEM designers all over the world. As part of our effort to help drive their global color development and coating application programs, we inspire automotive designers and support them with customs solutions such as AUROOM – a platform for the digital visualization of automotive exterior colors.

Driving Automotive Color Design with BASF
Our virtual colors capture all facets of automotive coatings including lightness flop, color flop and sparkling while our colorimetric know-how ensures their authenticity. By mapping these colors on car models, OEM designers can virtually paint every color proposal, including the 2022 SUPERPOSITION Collection, and gain realistic impressions of colors and effects on a complete car during an early design phase.

To demonstrate the colors and effects in the most authentic way possible, we also developed special virtual 3D car shapes called AUVOTS, representing the various car segments from compact cars to SUVs. In order to assess compatibility of color with the overall design concept, OEM designers can choose shapes of different vehicle segments in AUROOM for color visualization.

“The customer is at the center of all that we do, and our global team and design centers in Asia Pacific, EMEA and the Americas blend global presence, local
expertise, a deep understanding of color trends and thoughtful analysis of the competitive market in our effort to be a leading surface solutions provider in the automotive industry. We believe that close collaboration and trust can create valuable ecosystems for both – us and our customers.” Brieux Boisdequin, Vice President, Automotive & Materials – BASF India, explains.

To learn more about our innovative solutions for Automotive OEM coatings, visit Automotive OEM Coatings (

For more information, contact Brieux Boisdequin, Vice President, Automotive & Materials – BASF India at


About the author


Leave a Comment