Why so many white and silver cars?

“Around 1986, when the colour white became fashionable in Japan, 70 percent of the passenger cars pouring out of Toyota factories were white, with the figure as high as 90 percent for some models. Asking consumers why, one would get answers ranging from ‘it’s a clean colour’ to ‘white cars have a higher resale value’”

America and the Four Japans pg 86



  1. Michael said,

    July 8, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Could high visibility also have something to do with it?

  2. alexcase said,

    July 12, 2011 at 4:27 am

    It that were the case, yellow is by far the best colour (according to research I read), and I’d imagine red is better than white. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a bright yellow car in Japan, though it may be the taxi connection putting people off. Saw a red VW Golf the other day and found myself turning my head to look at it, only later realising it was how unusual the colour is that put me off.

    The main reason is, as in most countries, keeping up with Joneses. In Japan, the local variation is “Not sticking out from all the other Tanakas”. In the UK, you’d feel exactly the same social pressure to not be the third person in a row with a white car.

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