Thursday, October 18, 2012

Who knew color choice could be so complicated?

Auto Blog has published an interesting article titled 'How Nissan found the right yellow for NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow'.  It describes how, having won the competition to build New York's new taxi fleet, Nissan set out to find exactly the right color and shade for them.  The article goes into some detail, and this video report provides more background.

I guess some may not find that sort of thing interesting, but I did.  I'd have thought that Nissan would simply copy the existing color scheme of NYC taxis, but they went to a lot more trouble than that.  Clearly, the process is a lot more complex than I'd assumed.

(As an aside, I'm intrigued by Nissan's new taxi.  It's a very different design to others I've seen.  I doubt I'll be in New York to try it, but apparently the same design will be on the road as a compact cargo van and in other forms.  I look forward to seeing it on local roads.  If it's as innovative as the company's new large delivery van, both may be game-changers compared to the 'same old, same old' vans that have been built by Ford, GM and Chrysler for so many years.)



Alien said...

Very interesting multi-decade transformation of Nissan, as well as other Asian car manufacturers; when Nissan - under the Datsun marque - began importing cars to the US at the end of the '50s and into the early '60s they were, quite properly, regarded as clunkers not suitable for the American market. In the '60s Datsun imported small pickup trucks, primarily in California. When American managers begged for more small trucks to sell the Japan-based management was dumbfounded as to why they were selling so well. When told that Americans were using them not only as small trucks but as general purpose transportation Japanese managers refused to send more trucks because "Americans weren't using them the right way." The concern was that increased market penetration by Datsun-branded small trucks would somehow spoil the market for what Nissan brass planned to offer in the way of "more civilized" (read: quieter, smoother, etc.) Datsun-branded cars. I can't remember the title of the book in which this was all detailed, but the transformation of Nissan, and other Japanese car companies, over the past half-century has been interesting to watch. The car game really changed when the major Japanese manufacturers began establishing design studios in California in the '70s and became "indoctrinated" into American culture.

Noons said...

Back in the 70s I used to work at a paint manufacturer in Europe. As part of the induction they took us for a visit to the R&D department. One of the teams in there does nothing else than micro-adjust colours and tonalities of the most incredible ranges of products: for both custom fits or mass-produced paint.
One of the techos spent an hour showing us how much work goes into getting "grey" to look grey, entirely dependent on the targeted use!
He used the most incredible range of other colours to make that grey look exactly like what the customer - the police - wanted!
It's a whole sub-universe that few people are aware of.

Anonymous said...

We are going "world car" even if it makes no sense at all. Ford has the Turk micro van, but they refuse to bring over the Diesel engines that work and are going with Electric, hybrid and a gas engine that gets terrible mileage in the package.
Who misses his old Aerostar, but not the rust!

Old NFO said...

Yep, paint IS a world of it's own... And don't get me started on painting antique and classic cars... sigh

Anonymous said...

So, what color DID they finely decide on?
Wjhat is the name of the color?

Ritchie said...

Looks like Cub Yellow, which legend has, was an accidental color determined by supplies on hand.