How Important are a Vehicle’s Colors and Materials to You?

There are key design elements that went into creating the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion, among them being silhouette innovation, refined surface language, technical graphics, and a new face. Don’t know what those mean? Simply put, they cover everything from the car’s sleek lines to its clutter-free look.

Equally important are the colors and materials chosen for the Fusion, better known as anything you see and touch on or in the car. Would you believe trend research on that began three years in advance? That meant determining what would be in style three years down the road!

We spoke to Barbara Whalen, Ford Color and Materials Manager, to learn how she and her team went about creating a global palette and integrating world-class materials as part of the evolution of Ford global design.

Improved materials, elevated levels of craftsmanship and attention to detail were top priorities. Interior surfaces are now softer to the touch, and interior and exterior gaps are minimized, while extra care was taken to upholster or cover each edge and every surface you would touch.

“The holistic goal of our craftsmanship process is to see that Fusion not only delivers a superior visual experience but also feels like quality to the customer,” said Adrian Whittle, Ford Fusion Chief Engineer. Added Chris Hamilton, Chief Exterior Designer, “The previous Fusion was an easy purchase for a customer to rationalize. Our design goal for the new car was to give the mainstream sedan buyer a top-drawer visual experience, adding some emotional appeal to an already sensible choice.”

You can learn more about the 2013 Ford Fusion on ford.com.

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100 COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE
William B REALLY???? I guess if you like black,brown,or grey, you can have a say in the look of your car, only if it comes in a package that you want to buy. I for one really don't like the way that the car manufacturing has gone. We have adopted here it is take this and be happy. I really want to order a new car.BUT I can't get it the way I want it. So step up Ford, Give us finiky buyers a month the year that we can order what we want.
1 year(s) ago via
Earl L My wife ordered an Escape recently and were rather surprised at the limited choice of exterior colours. She ended up choosing silver and the interior she chose was stone. Silver did justice to that silver coloured insert on the rear bumper.The back colour of the rear bumper insert on the S model looks good,but the silver colour together with other colours makes that insert look like a sore thumb. Further to the comments about that black interior we visited one dealer that over 50 Escape's in stock and all but one had black interior. And I looked over his inventory of Focus's and Fusion's and again everything with black interior. I was sure he had an Amish fellow with a straw hat on staff that looked after doing all the ordering cars for inventory.
1 year(s) ago via
Paul O Why do the interiors have to be so black. Why can't we get any exterior color with a light tan or even a light grey rather than black.
1 year(s) ago via
T C It's nice to see that the newer Ford cars have better interiors as most of the cars of the 90's had that cheap crappy plastic look. Something I like to see Ford do is get rid of the plastic interior and exterior door handles and go back to the metal handles as they are more durable and don't break or crack as easy as plastic.
1 year(s) ago via
08StangGT So why do most vehicles only come in shades of black to white (gray, silver, etc.) plus a shade of blue and perhaps two shades of red... Rare are the greens, browns (even bronxe or gold), or yellow/oranges.
1 year(s) ago via
don c Navy blue for the 2013 Fusion!!!!
1 year(s) ago via
Kristian H Extremely important. It helps tie it all together. It makes you feel like you're getting a product worth thousands of dollars.
2 year(s) ago via
I wish there were more interior options for the color on my NEW 2013 mustang in the Green.....but thanks for coming out with a cool green color. I bypassed the synergy and green with envy offerings know you folks would top them all. Cant wait...mine arrives by this saturday!
2 year(s) ago via
Cheryl M im have always liked ford,very nice body style, and as for the color, i feel the colors are bright and they reach out and grab you, very comfortable riding, and roomy. my favorite of fords are is the 1963- 1964 and 64 in a half i like the round tail lights
2 year(s) ago via
Matt Cromwell I love that metallic bronze
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Dennis T I wish I had Barbara Whalen's job. I would bring back the 1957 Chevy turquoise color, and the 1959 Ford watermelon/white 2-tone color that my grandparents had. Why can't you do two-tone colors on your cars, like on your trucks? Be creative, be different, be bold! Roll on...
2 year(s) ago via
Evan Barnett Very important! I would've ended up with a boring white mustang if it hadn't been for the metallic red option!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jason A Not certain I like that Deep Impact Blue. It's not a mature enough looking color for me. You should have stuck with Kona Blue or brought back Steel Blue Metallic. I still miss Vapor Silver as well.
2 year(s) ago via
Laurie Jarosz Berger It's very important, as are the interior color options. One reason I also go back to Ford is because you offer beautiful interiors, unlike GM or Chrysler that offers pretty much.... black.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Maddy I like the black on black package that I saw on a 2012 Shelby at a dealership. I like cars that say I have money to the point that I do not need to flaunt it. I like the refined look with the horse power to back it up.
2 year(s) ago via
Patrick Pazen very important thats my ride
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Amy I would love to have a grey leather interior! Why is it black or tan? Black interior gets way too hot and tan shows all kinds of dirt.
2 year(s) ago via
Brian Litz colors matter to me a lot and I am a huge mustang fan but I have been disapointed in the color choices past couple years.finally came out with gotta have it green and I think it was a miss I love my electric green metallic 2000 GT and like my pacific green 96 GT.Need green in between electric and gotta have green. deep metallic blue and a BRIGHT SHINY ORANGE!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
johnnie h I think colors are important. Always it seems like when buying a car and the dealer doesn't have the color in stock they always point to the fact that you can repaint the vehicle. No not an option in my point. I would rather wait. Also, the quality of the material is important. I feel that FORD has greatly improved over the past 5 years. My family has always had FORD. I will always have a FORD. I am extremely proud of FORD for their dedication and fore sight about the company's financial woes. I am patiently awaiting the pricing details for the new Fusion.
2 year(s) ago via
John H I agree, why does a true sports car such as Mustang have such a poor color palate. Whats with those 70's colors. They weren't even good colors back in the 70's. Mustang sales are slumping. It's not because of the car... it is because of the car colors. Look around Ford team... Camaro has color true color choices. Bold and bright like a sports car should be, Mustang is a great car that should wear great colors. Pump up the color palate and mustang sales will climb. I'm ready for a new mustang, when the paint colors and interior quality improves.
2 year(s) ago via
Cheryl W The best thing I love about my Mustang is the great gas milage that I get, the next best thing is the color! GRABBER BLUE! WOW LOVEEEEEEEEEE IT
2 year(s) ago via
Derek F Colors are very important. I think one of Fords mistakes is that they only offer the triple coat Platinum white in most of the high end models. I would like to see the Oxford White as well as the Platinum white. Even Gov't Motors offers both whites in most models.
2 year(s) ago via
Jesus C Color and materials are severely important. I didnt buy my Mustang in 05 or 06 because I couldnt stand Legend Lime, then when I saw there was no shade of green in 07 I decided on Tungsten Gray. Great job on "Gotta have it Green", I just saw a Stang in that color at the NY Auto show and let me tell you for a guy who's favorite color is green, I'm in love. I'm a nut for customization so it'd be great if you could offer an option where more things interior wise could be made to match the exterior using the same colors like te seat stripe option on the GT 500.
2 year(s) ago via
Paula Burgess Not as important as mpg, but maybe next important!!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jason S I would like to see more options of color choices to exterior colors
2 year(s) ago via
Casey James A Palmer I don't know, it depends... Is Ford NA ever gonna start offering better colors???
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Karen Foster has long as it ford and it run i dont care.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Matt Wilcox 1970s-Appliance Puke Green is finding its way on many EVs and hybirds, and so is Drunk Vomit Yellow
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Ross Vasbinder You can have any color you like..as long it is black.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jeff White Extremely important. I was angry that Mediterranean Blue (Deep teal) was only offered on Flex and Edge. I have a Sport Blue Escape which was the closest I could get to my beloved Turquoise/Teal/Aqua. I like Gotta Have It Green on 2013 Mustang but I hate black interiors, especially in a convertible!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Dave E A variety of available colors is very important. Use of quality materials should not even come into question.
2 year(s) ago via
Marguerite Dillard very,
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Dennis Maljak Sr. Very important..
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Rahim Tarr It would be nice to be able to buy the color of your choice, Ive just bought a new ranger and was told I could have white or sliver not the blue I wanted unless I waited 8 months
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Sonya Mitchelson High quality materials r important don't wanna buy cheap plastic looking interior.and colour is a statement its who u r brighter colours have less accidents, and are easier to keep clean, paint is also easier to repair. Ex detailer LIME 04 XR6 :)
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Mike Martin I think that ford along with others should put more effort into quality control and building trucks that last over a new color. Bad fuel mileage, my 1975 gets the mpg that my 2010 ford gets
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
I drive a OldGrayFordTruck 1990 straight six 5 speed stick shift, about 300,000 miles on it and no breakdowns, just general maintance, breaks once, break lines once, muffler once, shocks once, does any one think I would buy anything but a FORD, they are nuts. I would love to check out the Fusion, congrats on the Texas NASCAR Race. I have had nothing but great luck driing Fords, like their handeling and turn cirlces around G.M.'s. I have towed with my FordF150XL and never had any problems, Actually went past tounge weight and my Truck took the punishment. Two traced with it, air born with it, and drive the highway with it, bobo and weave pot holes in Michigan with it, and can clear anything with it, pull into parking spaces small cars with no turning radious could not do. Turning radious is ten times better than G.M. Would never own a Chrystler orwhat ever you call it. No Bailout wealfare cars or trucks for me. If can ever afford to buy a new Truck or car, crossover, it will be FORD.
2 year(s) ago via
Julie Richardson My new Fusion is Bordeaux with tan leather interior. I don't think there has ever been a prettier car!! And, yes, it was very important to me! After years of driving old beaters, I am in love with my new Fusion..
2 year(s) ago via
I love the BBC show Top Gear, but every time they show an american car one of the first things they do is rap their fingernails on the dash, and say PLASTIC.
2 year(s) ago via
Paul Royal I am looking forward to the Fusion and its near the top of my list.... I sure hope it is A LOT nicer than the Focus, because that car was so well executed.... until I got inside...
2 year(s) ago via
David Scott It's secondary to safety and personal fit which all your cars don't fit me. But as long as pink is NOT a color choice.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Bill Bidell III Black is nice, but colors are boring on the road today, there should be more two tones classics and vibrant colors, its annoying that nobody is different
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Vince Dugie SUPER important! Still loving my '05 Lime GT!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Dominick Dimarko I prefer anything besides a cheap dull plastic interior...
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Isaiah Lopez Glad you asked because this is one the reason I shy away from Toyota, Honda and sometimes Hyundai an Kia because they act like they don't know how to be flexible with color choices options and other specs, but color and materials is the third thing on my list when it comes to buying a car
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Keith Lynch Very, and y does all cars now have grey or beige roofs in them it's hard to find an all black interior
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Barbara H You need more research if you think black interiors work in warm climates.
2 year(s) ago via
Justin Sisson The car has to flow ... Like the deep impact blue on the mustang is nice... But I heard that the mustang could end up like the evos ... If that happens I won't buy another mustang ... I will just buy the amazing 2013 model
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
David A. Consorti I hate the materials of my 2005 focus ses..... Down with textured hard plastic!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
paul i have an 09 Fusion Se and what really sold me i think was the red stiching with the part leather/part cloth interior, i love the tuxedo black exterior as well, the pearl sparkles only when light hits it
2 year(s) ago via
Frank L Great to see the concern for improved materials. Now could you concentrate on coordinating the interior and exterior colors. Black/grey interiors do not complement every exterior color--and they can get hot! Can we bring back the tan leather? Please!
2 year(s) ago via
Jay Billups Both are important. Even engine materials. I tend to side more with forged materials. As for the interior, either fine leather like Nappa or Nuance or elegant fabrics. Bring back a full pallette of colours for the interior. And as for paint, remember the "Hot Wheels" colours?
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
John Peebles Extremly!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Matt S It would be great to have a Light Dune color on the new Escape and Fusion. Black leather get hot in the summer, and I am not a big fan of Light Stone color.
2 year(s) ago via
Linda Shoemaker Johnson Color-important, materials-necessity!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Kevin Goff Lucky u!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Liz Howard Parkman Very
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Yunyi Fu I just dont care
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Leonardo Geraci If I like the color and the engine has enough power I don't care about the materials. :-P
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Carol Wilson Reimann How it Drives and how it Lasts are #1, and any car looks good RED!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Stephen John Westley Car has to be red. Will not buy if I cannot get it in red. End of story.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Betsy Wilkes Priority!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Frank D White Very
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Susie Hatton-Renner Material is very important. And color...I gotta say I NEED a color that lets me show my wild side. Like my Lazer Red Mustang.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Kenny Dolin Very important also one other thing very important is the wheel choice's a car need's a very nice set of wheels ! that makes or breaks it for me on cars!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
James Kluckhohn Always have a white, a really bright white that can be seen (the old Porsche alpine white was great!), have a black that is super deep, have a bright silver metalflake that has lots of rainbow shimmer, and a steel gray color that looks like polished dark metal. If the cars a boy racer it needs a dangerous red (think Dodge redline) Don't want anything else, pearl, metalflake black, or dull silver are impossible to fix or live with after the first door ding, or shopping cart hit... Boring and practical is better in paint unless they can make it unscratchable.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Annette Howell Brown I love RED!! With Black interiors. I have a red Flex and a Merlot T-Bird!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Miguel Maurtua materials, colors, and accessibility as in the beginning...
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Alex Lozano I like high quality materials in tasteful colors. I'm very interested in the upcoming Focus with the eco-boost powertrain in a nice shade of red with a tasteful, neutral interior.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Casey Payne Extremely important. I know more colors raise the cost to produce a car. But it sure is nice when you have 20 colors to choose from. Take the Focus ST coming. I think it's Performance White, Ford Blue, tuxedo black, silver, race red and yellow. That's it. All those colors are pretty but what about 70's colors? The purples, lime greens, oranges.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Tim Theodorou Very important for both! Also, I am not a leather kinda guy so I wish the sporty cars didnt come with leather and had an optional cloth.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Frank Anthony Leonard Outside colors are very important for me in deciding on a vehicle purchase. Interior color selection needs to be increased from basic tan, light grey and black.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Rick Appenzeller The right color. Mustang had to be red
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Theresa M. Grace VERY. Your car is a reflection of you, it is your outer shell. If you drive a black, white, or gray and sliver car it says you are a follower and boring , if your car is tan you are mature and a grandparent even when you are not a grandparent. Blue means you like adventure but you are afraid you may get caught. Red means you are trying to act younger then what you are. Your yellows, greens, purples and oranges are your people who enjoy life and don't what other people think. These is what your car color says the type of car says something as well.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Michael Jaschke I will not buy a car if I don't like the color. The interior etc etc why pay all that money that has nothing like Bluetooth etc
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Mike Serebrennikov Very! Too many boring colored cars on the road. The world needs more options like Gotta Have It Green
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Zachary Heck Race Red with black leather interior works for me! And materials don't really bother me, because they are just as good as the overrated Honda's and Toyota's.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Paul Steele Everything that's on or in a car or truck is important for the amount of $ we pay for our automobiles it should be perfect or at least very close
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
TB How hard would it be to offer as an "option" (of course), that would enable people to have a car built with virtually any color paint -esp on cars like the Mustang ?
2 year(s) ago via
Michael Karas Materials are only important when they're as garbage as a Hyundai's :)
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Richard Hawker color means everything
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Dan Minnerly Color is important as there are certain colors I won't consider when buying a vehicle. Overall fit and finish is important and many car makers are finaly realizing this. Not a fan of the ever common gaping grill showing up more and more across vehicle brands.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Michael Beckhoff I hate how sport package vehicles are only available with black interiors.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Josh Lee color in and out is very important. And materials, heck yes. But the car industry will never make qaulity vehics like they did in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Thats why i dont care to own a car, all u guys make is plastic death traps. I mean that to entire motor industry.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Aravind Svr Very important if we have to sell the car
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Aakash Chopra Its very important
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jason Peck They are extremely important. I think this is part of the Ford is making a come back is improvements in these areas. I used to own a 2007 Mustang GT premium. I had a hard time defending it against the interior fit and finish of my neighbor's 370Z and his wife's Acura.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Budhi Suhradi very very important
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Massimo Ascoli materials and build quality are by far the most important things...don't forget what has make you big and famous...your prestige exists thainks to dependability,reliability and trustwothbility..the main reason you pick ford it's becouse you can put your hands on fire being complitly sure you will never burnt yoursealf...no pick up truck is able to work hard as new as an old school f series....colors complete the sentence,nut if you don't have sentence to complete in first place......
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Jason Jepsen Very! Who wants an ugly vehicle made with cheap plastic?
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andrea P Very good point, but never forget: strong and solid first!
2 year(s) ago via
Benny Bennett Color not so much, no fiberglass or leather. I just want a good solid truck that takes the treatment I give it. Usually rough.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Wendy Hoyle Very....I love love love Black!!!!!!
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Tina Fitch Everything is important on your car, trouble I find is you bring out a new model which hasn't got everything on it and by the time you facelift it twice it has everything on it that you should have put there in the first place.... Like all painted bumpers and grilles.... Bluetooth is so important now for all drivers... Colour I buy a car by colour and whats with it...
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Favian Quezada Very important. I'm not gonna drive a tie-dye car with leather seats. Or will I? Hmmm?
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Andre XE Mewo Lengkey describe your self
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Christopher James Abad Colors are, I have to look at it everyday
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Michael Olson Materials and fit and finish are far more important to me than color.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Nicholas Zahn I'd go with black bumbers if meant using more recycled plastics.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
Peggy Lemos Materials are important, colors not so much.
2 year(s) ago via Facebook
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