Basic black Ford F-150 tops when buyers search

If you have a black F-150, you’re not alone. By a long shot.

According to the car shopping site Autotrader, black is the most popular vehicle color searched for on the site, and the Ford F-150 is the overall most searched-for black-colored vehicle.

Truck choice simple as black and white

“Color is a very important part of the vehicle purchase,” says Barb Whalen, Ford color and materials design manager. “After, ‘What vehicle did you get?’ it’s usually the second question asked – ‘What color is it?’ People relate their style to their color selection because it says something about their personality.”

Autotrader site search activity between January and June 2015 shows one in four new cars searched on Autotrader was black. These results track to Ford marketing data that shows Tuxedo Black, synonymous with Metallic Black, tops the list as the overall most popular paint option nationally for the 2015 Ford F-150.

The popularity of black can be attributed in part to its association with strength and with more luxurious vehicles, according to Paul Czornij, North American coatings designer with BASF, a paint supplier for F-150.

“Black is a color of mystery, strength and boldness, and it’s very common on high-end vehicles because there’s that projection of power and strength,” said Czornij.

While black is the overall most popular choice, white has grown in popularity and now tops the list for King Ranch and Platinum F-150 models, a trend Czornij attributes to the color’s association with high-end, state-of-the-art smartphones and computers – an elegant and less utilitarian choice.

Depending on region, certain colors are more popular than others – particularly on higher trim levels. Magnetic and Bronze Fire are more popular on King Ranch and Lariat trucks out west – a trend Czornij attributes to an increased connection with the environment and the idea of “appropriateness” when it comes to selecting a color.

“With F-150, you have this idea of what sort of colors are appropriate for it,” he said. “A connection to nature is important in the Southwest and on the West Coast. It works overtly and, to some degree, on the subliminal level as well with truck buyers.”