Consumers at an auto exhibition in Beijing, April 2, 2009. [Asianewsphoto]
Despite booming domestic sales, China's automobile manufacturers suffered a setback in the overseas market during the first two months of this year.
According to Customs' data, China exported 40,000 vehicles in the first two months, a 61.7 percent decline year-on-year.
The export volume of 16,000 units in February, 66 percent lower than that during the same month last year, has set a record for the lowest monthly exports since 2007.
Analysts said the global economic downturn and the trade protectionist policies some countries adopted were the main reasons for the export decline.
"The financial crisis is the chief culprit," said Hui Yumei, auto analyst with Sinotrust research firm. "Market demand has been shrinking everywhere outside China. So, it's not unusual to have such an export figure."
Russia, one of the key destinations for China's automobiles, took a series of protectionist measures in recent months. That meant China only sold 245 vehicles to Russia during that period, down from 9,636 units sold during the same period last year.