The Chinese authorities are still counting their human losses following last week’s massive blasts that affected the port of Tianjin – one of the country’s main hubs for imported cars.
The latest accounts have not come up with a definitive cause of the explosions, though first reports pointed to an industrial accident since the area was a major industrial zone. Also, the tally of human lives and economic losses is still being determined, as the fires started by the explosions on Wednesday caused several other smaller blasts throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, global automakers are scrambling to cope with the problems stemming from the blasts, tallying their losses in vehicles on location and securing other ways of delivering their imported vehicles into the country. Volkswagen for example announced on Monday it had around 2,700 imported autos on location that were damaged in the explosions, which claimed the lives of more than 100 persons. The blasts originated in an area where toxic chemicals were being stored.
BMW, the largest luxury automaker in the world, has decided to switch to Shanghai as the main harbor for importing cars into the country – around 2,000 vehicles per week will be redirected to Shanghai, which is already handling around 10,000 autos weekly for the company. BMW’s vehicles in the port of Tianjin are in an area yet inaccessible so they can’t gauge the losses. France’s Renault has also announced its auto deliveries in the country might fall this month and the next after the fires burned through 1,500 imported vehicles.