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I see two factors contributing to the phenomenon.

One is the risk of adding niche colors to inventory. Neutrals are less likely to be offensive to many where a color will appeal to some but will be offensive to others and hence sit on the lot longer.

This part of the phenomenon has become further entrenched as dealers have consolidated causing the business plan of car selling from somewhat of a personal experience into load the lot, turn the inventory, profit by volume. This is not really a surprise.

Another factor that is less obvious is the longevity of the average car. When the trade cycle was about three years unique colors could more easily follow fashion trends. In fact a car's color becoming dated to could motivate a trade.

Today one keeps a car for 8-10 years. Satisfaction with a neutral wears better than with a trendy hue.

It's one of the factors that is disappearing in the appliancization of cars and is also a significant driver of same.

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