China imported 373,000 units of vehicles in the first 11 months of 2008, up 35.6 percent year-on-year, and 58,800 units more than the total number in 2007, customs data showed.
However, the imports for November 2008 dropped 39.2 percent year-on-year, and grew a slight 3.2 percent compared with October.
The value of November's imports dropped 2.8 percent year-on-year to $1.17 billion, the first monthly decline in the past two years.
In November, passenger car sales in China saw a drop of 10.3 percent, the biggest in the past six years.
The customs forecast that the growth of vehicle imports will continue to slow down in the next three to four months as sales sputter.
The customs data also showed that in the first 11 months of 2008, China exported 609,000 units of vehicles with a total value of $8.26 billion, growing by 18.7 percent and 42.7 percent respectively. However, the growth rates fell 59.5 percent and 81.5 percent year-on-year.
Monthly exports dropped 47 percent year-on-year to 33,000 units in November, the fourth consecutive monthly decline.