PITTSBURGH — Automotive technology and data services provider PPG Industries' annual poll found that a silver, gray or charcoal exterior remains the most popular choice for new-car buyers. In its 10th year at the top of the list, shades of gray accounted for 31 percent of new-car colors in the United States and Canada, while black and white tied for second place at 18 percent.

"There’s clearly been a significant strengthening of silver’s popularity in recent years," said Jane E. Harrington, PPG's manager of color styling for automotive coatings. "And, with more than two-thirds of cars in North America being black, silver or white, one might be inclined to believe that vibrant colors don’t exist in automobiles anymore. But that’s not true. ... New advances in pigments and technologies are giving today’s vehicles different textural appearnces and iridescent sparkle."

Harrington noted that it has been 16 years since another color took the top slot. In 1994, green was the most popular choice in North America with a 21 percent market share. That year, only 8 percent of new-car buyers opted for silver, gray or charcoal.