Scenes of the damage caused by the explosions in Tianjin port. (Zhu Xingxin / China Daily)
Companies waiting for access to determine scale of damage
The massive explosions in the port of Tianjin on Wednesday night destroyed thousands of imported cars that were waiting to be distributed. [Special coverage]
As the fourth-largest port in the country and the one closest to the capital, Tianjin is an important import hub for many international vehicle manufacturers.
A dozen companies were affected by the explosions, including Volkswagen, Renault, and Toyota, and the total loss for the automakers concerned has been estimated at more than 2 billion yuan ($312.5 million). Photos from the site show row after row of burnt and damaged cars. However, there is no precise figure for the number of cars destroyed by the blasts, as access to area is still restricted for safety reasons.
Renault and Volkswagen, which suffered the most losses, according to caijing.com.cn, have made official announcements, as have FAW Toyota and Mitsubishi.
Renault announced on Thursday that about 1,500 of its cars were damaged in the blasts. Zhang Le, Renault's public relations officer told China Daily that the damaged vehicles are mainly Koleos, the company's SUV model.
Volkswagen said on Thursday that some of its cars had been damaged, but it was still trying to verify the number. Apart from Tianjin, the company also imports cars through Shanghai and Guangzhou, and it said it will make sure its dealers receive deliveries and it hopes not to inconvenience customers.
Volkswagen reportedly lost 2,748 units of imported models, such as the New Beetle, Golf and Tiguan according to www.163.com on Thursday.
FAW Toyota said on Friday that both its staff and production lines were not harmed by the blasts, although the office area and the windows of its factory were damaged, as well as some of its vehicles parked outside the factory.