Not only Toyota is looking to divert its shipments to Shanghai and other ports after the Tianjin massive blasts that took place last week, but its global auto competitors are joining in on this decision after the explosions interfered for an unknown period of time up to this moment with China’s largest auto import core.
Access to the areas has been limited by the authorities after a number of blasts took place at a hazardous chemicals warehouse which ended up with more than 114 deaths. Even if the port continues to operate, the car manufacturers are looking to reach lots and warehouses in order to assess the damage made and also to clear thousands of scorched cars as to make the facilities usable again.
Renault SA and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, producer of Subaru, announced that they will change the route for imports to Shanghai, while Hyundai Motor Co. said that it will send its shipment to Shanghai, but also to Guangzhou. Toyota is also taking into consideration changing the route for imports to Shanghai and Dalian, both of which have the necessary capacity to prevent any major logistical issues. A senior Beijing-based executive who preferred to remain anonymous stated that the “Port of Tianjin will likely be unusable for a long while, although I have no idea at the moment how long these disruptions would last.”
Toyota has already suspended its two final assembly lines near the Chinese Tianjin port from Monday to Wednesday to assess the damage done by the blasts. The carmaker has produced 432,340 cars at these plants last year, and according to IHS Automotive, it will probably lose 2,200 a day because of the explosions.
By Gabriela Florea