The Detail: The Matte Surge in the World Today


Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series

Maybe it’s because I work in the industry of cars and automotive paint, but I thought that matte finished vehicles were more popular than they are.  I’ve spent the past few weeks in conversations with lots of different groups of people and the question of, ‘what do you do for work?’ comes around quite often. On more than one occasion, actually a majority of the time, they had no idea that OEMs like Mercedes, BMW, and Hyundai are making matte finished vehicles! This was a bit shocking for me but definitely eye opening.

While having a conversation with my father on the phone about some of Dr. Beasley’s products for matte finishes, he mentions how only car fanatics own matte cars.

There’s no doubt that that is partially true, but not completely. We get all kinds of people sending us pictures of them with their matte cars with our products!

So what are we to expect with matte finishes and OEMs? 

Right now one of the biggest (if not the biggest) automotive paint manufacturer, PPG, makes matte paint for their OEM customers like Mercedes, Hyundai, Lamborghini, and others.  BMW also has their own matte (frozen) paint which extends to their other brands like Mini.  Many custom shops do matte jobs as well, everything from single stage to powder coated finishes.  So the availability is there! What’s stopping it from taking off?

Well because of the fact that matte is still seen as a novelty and prestige style, OEMs are able to mark up the option for matte paint finishes like there’s no tomorrow! BMW and Mercedes charge upwards to $3,000 extra for matte finishes and Hyundai charges an extra $2,000.  Although it is a slightly different process, that’s a huge inflation from their actual costs. If they were powder coating their cars, which is way more durable (and more stylish in my opinion), then I can see the extra cost.

It’s not going to be until more OEMs start offering matte finishes that the cost will go down. But there’s the paradox! More OEMs aren’t going to see the profit in offering matte if it’s such an expensive upgrade for their customers. So really it might be that more OEMs aren’t going to offer matte options until it’s a more affordable option. I honestly can’t tell you either way but one step is manufacturers need to make the painting process quicker and easier.

What’s the future of Matte in 5 years?

Honestly, I’d like to say that matte is going to be an option for every OEM in 5 years. However, I don’t think that’ll be the case. The best plausible case is going to be that manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Audi, and other high end sedans are going to offer matte as a feasible option on their basic models. This will then open the doors for manufactures like Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC to offer it as an option. Maybe only for higher end models or a high upgraded package option, but this is how it’ll start.

What’s holding us back from a future of matte finishes?

  1. Manufacture’s choice to make large profit margins by only offering matte as a luxury package
  2. The manufacturers and greater public’s lack of knowledge of how to clean and care for matte finishes
  3. Possibly the lack of a polisher for matte finishes (although relatively unnecessary, people can be uneasy with the thought that you can’t buff out imperfections in matte finishes)