Sensitive Men Like Blue, Type-A Women Like Black Cars
- Women who prefer black cars are often smart go-getters; blue cars appeal to men who are in touch with their feelings and emotions, according to a new report commissioned by Ford
- Based on an in-depth survey, the report highlights significant personality differences between men and women who love the same colours. For example, men who prefer black cars describe themselves as disorganised and often rely on others to finish projects they have started
- Ford commissioned the report to better understand the appeal of particular colours. Based on the report, new two-tone Focus Red Black Edition models are expected to appeal to customers of both sexes who enjoy adrenaline-fuelled pursuits
For many people, the colour and style of their car acts as a psychological short-hand for how they want to be viewed by the world.
A recent study* commissioned by Ford shows that choice of car colour also says a lot about the buyer’s personality and self-image. And, in many cases, there are stark differences between men and women who choose the same car colour.
For example, women who prefer black cars often see themselves as street-smart and task-focussed – and quick to become irritable if things aren’t going their way. Men who prefer black cars, meanwhile, tend to see themselves as disorganised, easily distracted and reliant on others to complete projects.
Men who go for blue cars are a different story. In touch with their feelings and emotions, they place more emphasis on feelings than facts when it comes to making decisions. Women who go for blue seek harmony in relationships and avoid conflict – but have strong will-power. Men who drive a dark blue car – like those who wear dark blue suits – tend to be more conservative.
Ford commissioned the report to understand the correlation between colour choice and individual personality traits.
Ford is launching new two-tone Focus Red Edition and Focus Black Edition models – colours that were among the top four choices for both men and women according to the survey.
“Car colour choice can be very revealing – but usually only if you take into account whether the person behind the wheel is a man or a woman,” said Wendy Lord, psychometric testing consultant and chartered psychologist, who produced the report. “This changed when we interviewed people about red and black combinations. Regardless of gender, these tended to appeal to people who are drawn to exciting and risky activities that offer a rush of adrenaline.”
Lord and her team, who surveyed more than 200 people aged 25 to 65 in the U.K., also found that silver cars appeal to men who find it easier to remain calm under stress, while perhaps unsurprisingly men who prefer dark blue cars tend to have a somewhat conservative approach to life. Men who prefer red cars tend to be more personally organised, methodical and goal-oriented than most.
However, women who favour silver, dark blue or red cars remain an enigma – the colours indicated no particular strong character traits for women drivers.
“The differences between what the colour of a car says about a male or female driver’s personality could certainly explain why couples with very different personalities can often agree on their preferred car colour,” Lord said.
Ford designers find inspiration for colours in latest trends in everything from fashion, to furniture, and smartphones. The first Red Edition and Black Edition models were introduced for Fiesta last year.
“Bold and expressive colour-contrasting designs used to be the reserve of extroverts but now they’re part of a much wider trend that includes not just cars, but clothing and even electronic products,” said John Mcleod, chief designer, Vehicle Personalisation, Ford of Europe. “Red and black are traditionally sporty colours so the two together make a very sporty combination, ideal for thrill seekers. This car isn’t for the average person.”
The Focus Red Edition is offered with a Race Red exterior and contrasting Panther Black roof, black mirror caps and black grille surround, with the Focus Black Edition featuring the reverse combination. Both models come with exclusive black 18-inch alloy wheels; sports suspension; and Race Red stitching on the front sports seats, leather steering wheel, floor mats, gear shift gaiter and handbrake handle. Models are available with 1.0-litre and 1.5 litre EcoBoost petrol engines, and 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engines, with a six-speed manual gearbox.
* The results of the survey of 204 respondents, with a near equal split between male and female, were measured using the NEO PI-3 personality test.