Many imported cars parked at the Tianjin port have only their frames remaining after violent explosions.(Zhu Xingxin/China Daily)
Automakers release new figures on blast damages
More than 10 days have passed since massive explosions rocked the port of Tianjin on Aug 12 and some automakers which have a presence near the site of the blasts have released new information.[Special coverage]
On Saturday, FAW Toyota issued its second announcement since the explosions. It said 3,449 of its cars parked outside the factory were damaged in the blasts, and 28 units of import CBU (Complete Built Unit) cars were also damaged.
Toyota said some customers will receive their deliveries late, but it will deliver cars as fast as it can and release subsidies later.
On the same day, Lexus announced that none of is staff had been hurt in the explosions, but 783 units of its vehicles were parked near the port. It said that the customers will receive deliveries late.
On Wednesday, Wang Henan, head of the Volkswagen imported car public relations department, said 2,746 of its vehicles were damaged in the blasts, close to the media reports last week that the automaker lost 2,748 cars in the explosions.
Wang said company representatives still cannot enter the site to verify the extent of the damage, or other details such as the models of the cars that were destroyed.
Volkswagen announced on Aug 13 that some of its cars had been damaged, but the number was unclear at that time.
Renault announced the same day that about 1,500 of its cars were damaged in the blasts.
Renault is considering rerouting all the cars it planned to deliver to Tianjin to the port in Shanghai. Qingdao will also be a future option for its shipments in China after the blasts, said Lin Yaping, head of the Renault public relations department.
According to Lin, 55 percent of Renault's shipments usually go to Tianjin, and the remainder to Shanghai.
Volkswagen and Renault suffered the highest losses, according to caijing.com.cn.
According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, at least 67 Toyota employees were injured in the explosions, and Toyota's operations in Tianjin would remain closed until at least Sunday due to safety concerns.
Sichuan FAS Toyota Motor, Toyota's local joint venture, planned to close its Changchun plant in northeast China on Friday as customs clearance of parts shipped from Japan has been delayed by the blasts. The company will make up for lost output by scheduling substitute production days, Reuters reported.
Toyota announced on Saturday that its Tianjin factory is far from the explosion site, and it was not undergoing any production during the blasts as its employees were on summer vacation.
Toyota was the world's largest automaker for years until Volkswagen replaced its position in the first half of 2015.
According to research firm IHS Automotive, a prolonged halt of operations in Tianjin could be costly for Toyota. IHS estimated the blasts could lead to a production loss of 2,200 cars every day.
Toyota has three assembly lines in Tianjin, which produced 432,340 units last year, according to HIS.
Sanxiang Metropolis Daily, a newspaper from Hunan province, reported on Wednesday that some 4S stores in Changsha, the provincial capital, have been affected by the explosions in Tianjin, and the price of some imported cars has risen.
According to the newspaper, a salesperson from the Land Rover 4S store in Changsha said customers have to wait for a long time to receive deliveries, but the store won't raise the price of its cars.
A salesperson from the Renault 4S store in the same city said customers will likely have to wait four to six months to receive their ordered cars, and the price of imported cars will go up, the newspaper reported.
Fitch Ratings said in a report on Tuesday that the insured losses from the blasts in the port of Tianjin are likely to range from $1 billion to $1.5 billion, and motor insurance is predicted to be a major sector of all claims.
On Aug 16, the Tianjin Port Public Security Bureau received a 2-million-yuan ($312,600) settlement from China United Insurance Co, for damage to 27 cars.
Shanghai Securities News reported on Wednesday that Renault had insured its cars for 500 million yuan and that the company's lawyers had arrived in Tianjin.
Lin from Renault told China Daily on Wednesday that all 1,500 of the automaker's damaged cars are insured, but had no further information about compensation as the explosion area is still restricted for safety reasons.
Wang from Volkswagen said all the company's 2,746 damaged cars are insured. "As for details of compensation, it is unclear until the insurance company can go inside the site," he said.
There is still no precise number for vehicles damaged in the blasts. Gasgoo.com reported on Tuesday that more than 10,000 vehicles were destroyed in the explosions and the total loss is expected to be more than 4 billion yuan.