Silver spent a decade on top before this year. But PPG said Wednesday that 21 percent of vehicles built in the 2011 model year were white. Black and silver tied for second at 20 percent each.
Carmakers tailor their colors to consumer demand.
White was the top color in North America. Black was first in Europe and silver was the most popular in Asia.
PPG Industries Inc. is also offering colors for future cars.
Those colors include Pot O' Gold, a light green with a hint of gold; White Nougat, a creamy, sparkly white; and Grape Spritz, a blue fused with purple.
PPG forecasts color trends based on fashion, interior design and other factors.