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Fiat has stopped making cars in one particular colour because it doesn’t ’embody the Italian way of life’ – but the decision could hammer UK sales

Fiat has confirmed it has stopped producing cars in one particular colour – not due to a lack of demand from customers but because it doesn’t represent the brand’s ‘New Dolce Vita’ values, the Italian firm said.

As of today, the company will no longer sell grey cars.

It said the decision has been made to ‘enhance the importance of colours in life, embodying the Italian way of living’.

But the move could significantly backfire when it comes to demand for new Fiats in  Britain, with grey being the nation’s most popular car colour for half a decade.

Fifty shades but grey! Fiat has confirmed today it will stop offering its new models in grey because the colour fails to 'embody the Italian way of life' Fifty shades but grey! Fiat has confirmed today it will stop offering its new models in grey because the colour fails to 'embody the Italian way of life'

Fifty shades but grey! Fiat has confirmed today it will stop offering its new models in grey because the colour fails to ’embody the Italian way of life’

The decision to cull the availability of grey Fiats has been made as part of efforts to ‘reaffirm the brand’s New Dolce Vita values’, bosses at the carmaker said this week.

The company adds that a brighter paint palette is part of a ‘distinctive feature’ sales strategy to make Fiat cars standout in the wider automotive market.

From today, the colours in the present and future Fiat line-up are said to be ‘inspired by the Italian Sea, Sun, Earth and Sky’.

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‘We broke the rules: we decided to stop the production of Fiat grey cars,’ explains Olivier Francois, chief exec and global chief marketing officer at Fiat’s parent group, Stellantis.

‘This is challenging and disruptive and it is aimed to further reinforcing Fiat’s leadership as the brand of joy, colours, and optimism. 

‘Italy is the country of colours and, starting from today, Fiat’s cars too.

‘This choice further communicates to people the New Dolce Vita values and the Italian DNA embodied by the brand.’

The official statement continues that the move to only sell new models in bright colours will ‘inspire people to live with optimism and positivity’.

Paint options that will be available include gelato white, Sicilia orange, paprika orange, passione red, dipinto di blu blue, Italia blue, Venezia blue, rugiada green, foresta green, rose gold and cinema black – all of which have ‘evocative names’ based on ‘Italy’s beautiful landscapes and dolce vita mood’. 

The decision to cull the availability of grey Fiats has been made as part of efforts to 'reaffirm the brand's New Dolce Vita values', bosses at the carmaker said this week The decision to cull the availability of grey Fiats has been made as part of efforts to 'reaffirm the brand's New Dolce Vita values', bosses at the carmaker said this week

The decision to cull the availability of grey Fiats has been made as part of efforts to ‘reaffirm the brand’s New Dolce Vita values’, bosses at the carmaker said this week

Customers will no longer be able to get their hands on a grey Tipo like the one pictured Customers will no longer be able to get their hands on a grey Tipo like the one pictured

Customers will no longer be able to get their hands on a grey Tipo like the one pictured

Fiat's bold move will see it cull grey paint entirely while offering two tones of orange - 'Sicilia orange' and 'paprika orange' Fiat's bold move will see it cull grey paint entirely while offering two tones of orange - 'Sicilia orange' and 'paprika orange'

Fiat’s bold move will see it cull grey paint entirely while offering two tones of orange – ‘Sicilia orange’ and ‘paprika orange’

The first new model launched without grey as colour option is the brand's new electric 600e hatchback. Here it is coated in orange ahead of the official unveiling on 4 July The first new model launched without grey as colour option is the brand's new electric 600e hatchback. Here it is coated in orange ahead of the official unveiling on 4 July

The first new model launched without grey as colour option is the brand’s new electric 600e hatchback. Here it is coated in orange ahead of the official unveiling on 4 July

It means customers who want a new 500 supermini, 500X SUV, Panda or Tipo will no longer be able to order one in showrooms painted grey. 

And the first new model launched without grey as colour option is the brand’s new 600e – an EV designed for families that is due to be unveiled on 4 July.

Why the decision to cull grey could backfire in Britain

While Fiat’s decision to terminate grey paint is aimed at inspiring motorists to be jollier, the move could have a serious impact on sales of its cars in the UK.

That’s because grey is the most popular colour for new models in Britain – and has been for some time.

More than one in four new cars bought in UK dealerships last year were grey, official data shows.

Some 25.7 per cent of motor registrations were in the colour, marking a fifth consecutive year of it being the most popular palette for Britons.

While many people – including Fiat’s bosses – might consider the colour boring, experts say drivers are picking it for financial reasons rather than personal taste.

With around eight in ten new cars financed rather than bought outright, drivers are more conscious of the residual values of vehicles. And colour can be one option that has a dramatic impact on the sale price of a second-hand motor, experts told This is Money.

Official records held by the SMMT show that grey has been the best-selling new car colour since 2018. That means Fiat's decision to terminate the tone of paint could seriously backfire Official records held by the SMMT show that grey has been the best-selling new car colour since 2018. That means Fiat's decision to terminate the tone of paint could seriously backfire

Official records held by the SMMT show that grey has been the best-selling new car colour since 2018. That means Fiat’s decision to terminate the tone of paint could seriously backfire

More than one in five new cars bought by Britons in 2022 were grey, the data shows More than one in five new cars bought by Britons in 2022 were grey, the data shows

More than one in five new cars bought by Britons in 2022 were grey, the data shows

While red cars were hugely popular in the nineties, they now account for just 8.5 per cent of all new registrations. Other bright colours, such as green and yellow, are also in low demand While red cars were hugely popular in the nineties, they now account for just 8.5 per cent of all new registrations. Other bright colours, such as green and yellow, are also in low demand

While red cars were hugely popular in the nineties, they now account for just 8.5 per cent of all new registrations. Other bright colours, such as green and yellow, are also in low demand

Hugo Griffiths, consumer editor at car buying site carwow, told us: ‘Because the vast majority of private buyers today fund new cars using PCP finance – which pays off the vehicle’s depreciation – monthly repayments can actually be higher for cars in unusual shades, which face lower residual values due to reduced demand on the second-hand market.’

Put simply, a grey, black of silver car is likely more valuable on the used car market than a more daring shade, such as bright pink.

Hugo says that black, grey, white and blue cars are by far and away the most popular colours of secondhand vehicles sold on its website last year – accounting for 74 per cent of sales.

‘In contrast, green, orange and brown cars made up just 2.4 per cent of carwow’s used sales volume,’ he said.

‘In short, it pays to play it safe when choosing the colour of a new car, and who wants to do anything other than that these days?’

It means Fiat’s decision could backfire on bosses, with sales of its cars already falling behind in the first five months of 2023.

Fiat dealers have shifted a total of 8,190 new models between the start of January and the end of May.

That’s down almost 12 per cent on the same period last year, when Fiat showrooms had shifted 9,282 in the opening five months of 2022. 

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