Black is starting to replace chrome as the popular choice on custom wheels

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Chrome has faded to black when it comes to accessorizing new cars and trucks to attract performance enthusiasts.

Car and truck manufacturers are now saying buyers are craving black wheels as a fashion statement on new vehicles, leaving chrome behind.

Ford says its best-selling vehicle for the 2013 model year has been a white F-150 pickup with black wheels. The preferred version of Ford’s Flex crossover: silver with black wheels. Those top selling vehicles are making a big statement.

Mini introduced black wheels as a special-order item, but they have proved so popular that it made them a general option, says Mini’s Nathalie Bauters. Just 8% of the buyers of the 2010 Mini Cooper S opted for black wheels; for this year’s version of the same model, 39% are choosing them.

Though the issue may sound frivolous, alloy wheel options are big business for automakers. They can charge hundreds of dollars more for custom wheels on vehicles, boosting profits.

Getting preferences right and trying to create excitement around models is important.

“Wheels make or break (the look of) a car,” says Susan Swek, Ford Motor’s chief designer for color and materials.

A decade ago, rappers and other style mavens embraced costly, giant silver wheels. At the height of the fad, some even added spinning inserts that kept turning when the car stopped.

Now, black is in, seen as the color of speed and stealth. “Black is a little hotter, because it can evoke mystery or performance,” Swek says.

When you get ready for black wheels on your vehicle, come talk to Street Dreams. We can help find that dark color you are looking for, in just the right style and fitment.

Some of our more popular black wheels:

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