Car babes banned? China wants eyes on cars not models at auto show

Intense competition for China's drivers means that car manufacturers are increasingly developing vehicles that cater to Chinese preferences. "The SUV is popular as a first car," said Raymond Tsang, a Shanghai-based partner at Bain & Company. "If you only have one, you want one that you can commute in and take on a road trip."

However, according Bain's China New Mobility Study 2015, congested and chaotic roads, restrictions on the number of new vehicle license plates and a shortage of residential parking space may trigger a backlash against car ownership. "The car was seen as a status symbol," says Pierre-Henri Boutot, a partner in Bain's Hong Kong office and co-author of the report. "But now in larger cities they see the hassle and some of these people are thinking of giving up their car."