Why Do Indians Hate Grey Cars (and Black Ones Too)?

There is chart in the FT comparing the popularity of car colors around the world. For the most part everyone dislikes the same colors – brown, yellow, green and pink – but there are some discrepancies.

For example, North American and Europe are fond of grey cars and blacks cars, but Indians are not. There is a huge disparity, with Indians down at 4% and Europe at 18% in the case of grey; black cars are at 26% in Europe but only 7% in India.

Why the hate for black/grey cars? Assuming there isn’t some cultural issue with which I’m not aware, I’m going to guess it has to do with temperature. In hotter countries people prefer not to drive in dark-colored cars, so black/grey cars would get the boot, so to speak.

Assuming the preceding is true, it helps explain the popularity of white cars in India. That color makes up 28% of all cars sold, more than the proportion in either North America or Europe.

If anyone has other explanations, feel free to post them.


  1. White has historically been more popular in Texas than black (well the popularity of old light blue Ford pickups shouldn't be forgotten but I digress), for reasons of temperature. Black and dark charcoal have gained popularity in recent years with the penetration in the market of exotic (expensive) European cars (black BMW being so much more cool (the other cool) than white). It became fashionable to show how one had enough $$$ to be running the AC constantly and washing it every day to get rid of the dust. In other words, black became a status symbol.

    g caldwel wrote 'To Northern Europeans subscribe to the idea that white cars are dangerous in snowy climates because they are hard for other cars to see?' Northern Europe is not one place. In the UK white is less popular because it rains a lot and the mud and dirt is more obvious. But yes in Norway or Germany snow would be a factor as well as mud.

    A European exile in TX