China wants to become a major automotive exporter and has designated eight special zones to sell cars and components overseas. Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai made the announcement. The government said selected companies would receive preferential loans and export-tax rebates. China's auto exports have grown in the last two years but this may be the beginning of a much larger push, the Financial Times reported. China exported US$10.9 billion in finished vehicles and parts in 2005, up 34% from 2004. According to state media reports, exports in the first half of 2006 totalled US$7.7 billion. Last year, China became a net exporter of vehicles while companies like Chery, Shanghai Automotive and Geely have announced ambitious expansion plans.