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."