39% of the world’s cars are white.
Why this designer says that is changing.
White was globally the most popular car color for more than a decade , but the designer behind Thailand’s Kicks e-POWER, Nissan Global Color designer, Myung-Eun Lee, says this is shifting. She shares her newest car color predictions, her unexpected favorite color combination and the ultimate Nissan car she’d love to bring back.
“A car’s color can say so much about its owner.” From Seoul, now based in Japan, color designer Myung-Eun, always interested in Japanese design and culture after moving to Tokyo for three years in her childhood. This led her to change her career path and join Nissan in 2012.
Now she manages and designs the exterior and interior color design of Nissan cars – with the Kicks e-POWER for Thailand as her most recent vehicle.
1. Right now, your creation Kicks e-POWER is being driven on Thailand’s streets. How do you feel?
It’s an unbelievable feeling. My personal wish for Thai Kicks e-POWER owners, is that when they see their Kicks, they love it and it makes them inspired or reflects them as an individual.
2. How did you become a car designer?
My first job was an Interior Architect but I always wanted to give myself a challenge, and move to another design field. So I got a Master’s Degree in `Design Management,’ to broaden my horizons. After that, fortunately I was able to get an internship at Nissan as a color designer. That working experience at Nissan was so good and exciting. So I decided to move to Japan and start my career as automotive color designer.
3. The latest Kicks e-POWER colors are ‘Sunlight Yellow’ and ‘Night Blue’ – what inspired you?
The names express it well – ‘Sunlight Yellow’ gives bright, vivid energy, like the sun. ‘Night blue’ gives the beautiful depth of the night sky. A cool thing is, with the pearl effect at various angles – it’s like stars in the sky.
4. How are 2021 car color trends evolving in Thailand?
In every region, including Thailand, white colors (including Gray and Black, monotone colors) are still the most popular color in automotive industry. They are neutral and stylish.
But what is interesting is color designers, definitely feel more diversity in color trends in Thailand and ASEAN. More people are enjoying choosing colors for their vehicle, and are more open to new colors. Especially for younger generations – they can be more daring – and a car is something that can reflect a person every day, and everywhere they go. It’s not about showing off, but being individual, or memorable.
5. What are the main factors in designing a car color?
The process is extremely detailed. A car is fascinating because it has to be comfortable, stylish, sporty, but be able to use all the time, for many years. When we design the Color Material Finish (CMF), we first think about the concept we want to deliver through the product. For Kicks the concept was to build something modern, unique, compact yet powerful.
We study the market needs and customer’s lifestyle carefully. Then build solid concept images and move on to create the color and material to match those images, which takes months of testing, trying.
6. Choose a Nissan Kicks color for yourself – which would it be and why?
Orange, with black two-tone body color and orange tan interior. These color combinations show perfect harmony together, in the exterior and interior. The orange is iconic.
Caption: Designer Myung-Eun’s choice if she bought Kicks E-POWER - Monarch orange, with black two-tone body color and orange tan interior. Create your own customized Kicks here.
7. What does the two-tone car trend represent for customer tastes?
The two-tone option gives owners the opportunity to customize the vehicle to their own taste, with even more variations. Also from a design styling point of view, a darker tone roof color can give the car more eye-catching proportions, which people love.
8. As someone who has worked so closely on Kicks e-POWER, how would you describe it?
It is compact yet powerful. It’s compact which is great for city driving, but is gives off a very strong presence. Then once you experience the silence, force and efficiency of e-POWER, people will fall in love.
9. If you could bring back any Nissan Car, which would you choose?
I want Nissan to bring back the Nissan Figaro from the 1990s. Figaro is classic yet cute.
10. In the next five years, which car color do you expect to be popular?
I predict the copper body color will become popular in future (from the Nissan Ariya). And more bright chromatic colors.
Learn more about the Nissan Kicks e-POWER here.
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