Fleet News

Any colour - so long as it's not brown

##CAPsml--left####Martin Ward--right##COLOUR is so important for both new and used cars. This has always been the case, ever since old Henry Ford sold Model Ts in any colour so long as they were black. But even then, things changed quickly and a more varied choice appeared on the roads throughout the world.

Every manufacturer, without exception, has brought out a range of cars which somebody then took the decision to paint in an awful, undesirable colour. Apart from some doom blues and wishy-washy metallics, one of the least wanted colours recently was Ford's Heath Brown. The value of one of these is considerably less than that of most other colours. Another was Toyota's Chianti, which very quickly became affectionately known as 'ninety-day red,' after its propensity for sitting on a dealer forecourt for 90 days without finding a buyer.

These colours weren't popular new and consequently tended to end up on rental fleets. However, as they were de-fleeted, prices tumbled, with the danger that they might have dragged down the value of other more fashionable colours.

Since then manufacturers have tended to select more varied colours and specifications on both their own fleets and those sold to the rental industry. Heath Brown does live on, however, this time called Java Pearl, to be found on some models from Volvo. Although it's not exactly the same shade, it's pretty close.

We have been told that some exterior designers get the ideas for new colours from nature. It has been known for them to look across a beautiful lake and see the reflections of trees and the setting sun, which gives them inspiration for a new colour. All well and good, but how will it look on the used car pitch on a sleety November afternoon in Scunthorpe? If it is an unwanted shade values can only go one way. The same way as the setting sun!

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