Sonic Orange is Hot

This is Michelle Killen.

This is Michelle Killen.


She looks happy. She undoubtedly is.

Michelle Killen is lead creative designer in the color and trim studio and exterior paint expert at General Motors Design. She and her team were behind the decision to promote orange—specifically, “Inferno Orange”—for the Chevy Sonic.

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Orange, or variants thereof, are evidentially the color of the moment. Pantone named its PANTONE 17-146 Tangerine Tango “Color of the Year, 2012.” So clearly graphic designers are all about the color.

So are Sonic buyers. According to Chevy, nearly 20% of Sonics ordered from the dealership are Inferno Orange. That puts it in second place to the ever-popular Black. (Interestingly, while there are available colors for the Sonic like “Cyber Gray” and “Blue Topaz,” it’s just “Black.”)


Said Killen: “We had a strong feeling that Sonic’s Inferno Orange would hit the trend at the perfect time and hatchback drivers would embrace it.”

They were right.

Through June, Chevy sold 42,240 Sonics in the U.S.

Orange has long been a popular color on two other Chevys: the Corvette and the Camaro. It may be worth noting that the Sonic is relatively close to the Camaro in sales, as that muscle car has been moved off lots 49.697 times through June. (And in case you’re wondering, there were 7,022 Corvettes sold during that period.)