A comparative study of the emotional assessment of automotive exterior colors in Asia

Izumi Satake, John Haozhong Xin, Tu Tianming, Aran Hansuebsai, Kenji Ando, Tetsuya Sato, Kanji Kajiwara, Seiji Ohsawa

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This article compares color assessments of automotive exteriors at four locations in China, Thailand and Japan. This study employed painted panels of twelve colors, thirty sensory words and fifteen pairs of emotion variables. It also used reference figures of nine cars that included four styling categories, namely sedans, compacts, sport utility vehicles and sports cars. The results of like-dislike tests revealed that basic automotive exterior colors, such as black, white and red, were highly preferred across locations. However, geographical differences are apparent in the preference for some non-basic colors. To elucidate these geographical differences, a Chi-square test and principal component analysis were performed on the data on emotion variables. The results revealed both similarities and differences in color preferences among the four locations. Color preferences were similar in Hong Kong and Shanghai when simply evaluated by color samples. However, similar preferences for automotive exterior colors were observed in Hong Kong, Kyoto and Bangkok, but not in Shanghai. These results suggest that there is fluctuation in the emotion evoked by a color when the color is considered in the context of automotive exteriors. Therefore, this study indicates that automotive sales can be secured in the global marketplace by creating a single palette of exterior colors based on similar color preferences across countries. However, these results also indicate that preparing market-specific automotive-color line-ups can be an effective marketing strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-540
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Organic Coatings
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Asian automotive color
  • Automotive color
  • Color emotion
  • Color perception
  • Color preference
  • Cross-culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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