BEIJING: Local car brands are overtaking their American and Japanese counterparts to become the top choice among potential car owners in China, according to a report by Nielsen.

In recent months, Chinese car makers have expanded their lines and have launched intensive marketing campaigns to promote their new products.

Some 65 per cent of respondents regard design as the most important factor in a new car and while demand for comfort based on safe design is increasing, a stylish and sporty look is favoured even more highly.

Over 70% of potential buyers said they judge how fashionable a car is by looking at the styling on the front. 

"Demand for private ownership of automobiles has become a symbol of quality, of a person's values and of their personality," said Georgia Zhuang, head of auto research at Nielsen.

Quality of life and ease of transport remain the two key reasons for buying a car.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff