Where did all the black cars go?
Black cars are becoming a rarity as very few models today come in the once commonly available colour.
They say that the world isn’t all white and black. But when it came to cars, especially in India, car owners’ preferred choice has always been whites, closely followed by silvers or blacks. However, have you realised that black cars are slowly disappearing from our roads?
Barring a few luxury cars and high-end cars, most manufacturers have slowly phased out black models from their car line-ups.
To give an example, India’s top carmaker, Maruti Suzuki now offers black colour in only 6 among 17 models on sale. The 6 models include Dzire (Cave Black), Ciaz (Pearl Midnight Black), Omni (Fantasy Black), Eeco (Black), Grand Vitara (Bluish Black Pearl) and Baleno (Midnight Black).
Japanese carmaker Honda and German carmaker Volkswagen offer black colour in only 2 of their 7 models i.e., Brio and Mobilio RS and Polo and Jetta, respectively.
This wasn’t the case earlier. Black was a common variant among all models of auto manufacturers.
Maruti Suzuki, Honda Cars India and Volkswagen India did not respond to our emails.
A car buyer on an online forum wrote, “While browsing Maruti's website, I noticed that except Ciaz and Dzire, no other car from Maruti stable is available in black colour. I am surprised with this as being a black colour lover, my next car would be in black only.”
So what could be the reason?
An automobile analyst working with a large brokerage house in Mumbai, on the condition of anonymity as he wasn’t the spokesperson, said, “I have spoken to many a dealers and the reasoning is simple: the colour is considered as inauspicious by many Hindus.”
This, however, is just a part of the story.
According to an Economic Times (ET) report, the demand for black variant is high only in the luxury segment, at 12%.
The aforementioned analyst, speculating, said that it is a general perception is that black and red cars are more prone to accidents and could be a reason too why buyers are shying away from the colour as a preferred choice for their cars.
Another reason for a lesser demand for black colour cars is that the colour absorbs more heat than any other colour. India, being a tropical nation, sees temperatures rising to even 40 degrees Celsius in many places in the peak of summer.
Also, when it comes to the resale black coloured cars, they are known to depreciate more than other colours. According to a Forbes report, black has the highest depreciation of 34.4%.
Whatever the reason, 'black' cars have already become a rarity on Indian roads.