The growing Chinese auto market has apparently sparked the growth of a highly-discerning group of customers, which might be a bit surprising considering that 84% of Chinese new-car transactions take place with first-time car buyers. With information moving faster than ever before and in a market flooded with over 100 brands, however, consumers can afford to be picky.

Proving that the gearhead affliction shows no geographic boundaries, over one-third of Chinese auto buyers place drivetrain performance as their most-important concern (compare this to only 19% of buyers here in the US). On the other hand, credit mania has not yet swept China, with nearly 90% of buyers choosing to pay in cash.

 [Source: BusinessWeek]