I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a considerable number of brown cars on the road lately.
I first observed this phenomenon in Berlin where I saw an inordinate number of high end BMWs and Mercedes finished in a shade that can only be described as “shit brown”. Why spend upwards of €120,000 only to drive around in something that looks like a giant turd ?
I’m sure that the sales people in the showrooms describe the hue as “Burnt Sienna” or “Burnished Auburn” or possibly even “Metallic Mahogany”, but I know, you know and they know it’s still “Poo Poo Pourri” to those of us living in the real world.
Why, though ?
Why now ?
I’d wager that not since the halcyon days of the Austin Allegro in the mid-late 70s have so many brown cars been driven with such apparent abandon as today.
Is the paint cheaper ? Maybe there’s a global shortage of silver paint – number 1 car colour in the UK, fact fans – or perhaps the price of red has risen due to a poor raspberry crop a couple of years ago ?
Or maybe it’s just fashion … or to put it in today’s parlance, “Brown is on trend”.
On the subject of management speak, I’ve noticed a lot of people using the word “signpost” instead of “send” or “show” lately, too.
I’d like to place another bet please, bookmaker: namely that somebody somewhere at a car company conference recently said something along the lines of ” … um, guys, we really need to get the sales, um, guys to signpost customers to, um, Tawny Chestnut as a viable vehicle lifestyle choice because brown is really, um, on trend, guys …”
I’ve often thought that if you put the right logo on top of a presentation box, you could sell anything … but I never thought I’d see the principle illustrated so blatantly and in such an expensive way.
The emperor is apparently fully dressed after all …
To my mind, the only acceptable uses of any shade of brown for any kind of vehicle are as follows:
1. UPS delivery vans (this photo was taken in 1902, that’s how little they’ve changed down the years)
(incidentally, the shade I’ve used for the text in this rant is called “Burnt Orange“)