Metallics still are the top choice for many of today's car buyers, according to BASF Corp.'s recently released annual forecast of popular car colors.

“The trend for North America is dominated by metallic, and that's not exclusive to silver,” says Jon Hall, manager of color development for BASF's Automotive OEM Coatings business group. “Copper and gold metallic colors continue to be fresh looking, with new pigment effects being introduced every year,” he says.

The study, “Color at the Speed of Light,” titled to reflect the physics of light in determining new color effects, also predicts nature-based colors and glow-in-the-dark effects are on the horizon, such as BASF's new Constellation Color. Effects such as matte and gloss, reflective and iridescent, and opaque and phosphorescent, are some of the new automotive coating trends expected to show up on dealer lots in the next few years. North American, European and Japanese trends are covered in the report, which was released April 26.

Among other findings, strong colors like “juice and concentrate” will make a comeback. “Versions of turquoise, ink blue, wine, raw green and other colors that have a transparent, rich color look will reappear as new trends. This is the new middle ground between very light and very dark,” says Mr. Hall.