For the first time in its five-year history, Axalta’s (NYSE: AXTA) Automotive Color of the Year is showcasing a color primed for vehicle customization both at manufacturing facilities and in the aftermarket. Sahara, a golden bronze tone, radiates warmth, richness and strength for vehicles of all sizes – especially the expanding global truck and SUV markets – and can serve as the principal color for two-tone possibilities including black roofs.

“At Axalta, we are seeing car designers leaning toward options for two-toning, accent roofs and stripes,” said Nancy Lockhart, Axalta Global Color Marketing Manager. “When it comes to mass customization, Sahara is the type of color that can serve as the foundation for these premium options.”

Borne from Axalta’s ChromaDyne™ line of color coats formulated for global automotive manufacturers, Sahara is partly inspired by global trends for warmer shades highlighted in the company’s Global Automotive Color Popularity Report. Yellow/gold vehicles are most popular in India and China while brown/beige vehicles increased in North America more than any other region.

Sahara is Axalta’s fifth Color of the Year following Radiant Red (2015), Brilliant Blue (2016), Gallant Gray (2017), and StarLite (2018). StarLite, a pearlescent white, introduced coatings technology into the autonomous vehicle discussions. Axalta colors under development are tested for readability by autonomous sensors, and Sahara is formulated for visibility.

According to Dan Benton, Axalta Refinish Color Marketing Manager, Axalta’s Color of the Year is another example of how Axalta transfers OEM technology to the aftermarket and repair businesses. “We get calls every year from some of the industry’s best custom builders looking to use color to differentiate their products,” he said. “We have Sahara formulated and ready-to-go in our industry-leading refinish brands including Cromax™, Standox™ and Spies Hecker™.”

“Sahara will excite and inspire the industry as it brings together timeless style and luxurious customization for a fashionably fierce finish,” said Lockhart.

Axalta will kick off a year-long celebration of Sahara during the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Highlights include a video reveal at the EyesOn Design awards program Jan. 15 and prominent display during the Axalta-sponsored Charity Preview on Jan. 18.

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