China's car market is continuing to cool in response to higher gasoline prices and weakening consumer confidence, according to preliminary data obtained by Lehman Brothers.

In a research note, the investment bank said that Chinese passenger car sales fell 10% in August from a year earlier based on preliminary data.

Official figures are expected to be released over the next week.

Lehman Brothers said the Olympics particularly depressed car sales in the host city Beijing due to strict traffic controls, while many consumers remained at home to watch the Games.

"We estimated Beijing normally accounts for about 8 percent of annual passenger vehicle sales in China, and the sales slump in Beijing is likely to have a significant negative impact on national sales," the report said.

JD Power recently cut its forecast for Chinese passenger car sales this year to 5.95m units from its previous projection of 6.2m units.

UK analysts JATO recently noted that car market growth was 'noticeably lower' in July and that, despite continued optimism in the region, China is not immune from the effects of increased fuel prices and global economic uncertainty.

ANALYSIS: China car sales slow in July