Foreign automakers feel force of Tianjin explosions

Updated: 2015-08-17 08:04

By Du Xiaoying(China Daily)

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Foreign automakers feel force of Tianjin explosions

Scenes of the damage caused by the explosions in Tianjin port.[Zhu Xingxin / China Daily]

Mitsubishi said on Friday that about 600 units of its cars in Tianjin port may have been damaged by the blasts.

Hyundai lost 3,950 units cars, the media reported on Saturday.

Other brands, such as BMW, Lexus, and Infiniti, were also affected by the blast.

Yang Lin from Lexus public relations department said less than 1,000 units of Lexus cars were in Tianjin port at the time, but some of them had been damaged by the blasts.

According to National Business Daily on Friday, Jaguar Land Rover also had cars damaged by the explosions, but it is still counting the number.

Impact on dealers

China's auto industry has been experiencing slower growth year, and the Tianjin explosions have added to the pressure on dealers. According to the China Automobile Dealers Association, the vehicle inventory alert index has been above the alert level for months. In July, the inventory was 53.4 percent, above the alert level of 50 percent.

"This worsens the already grave situation. It is not easy to sell cars now. The whole market is not good. And the situation for dealers is unstable," said a senior employee from a dealership deeply affected by the blasts, who prefered to be unnamed and did not want title and company published.

According to this person, at present no one knows whether the cars destroyed in Tianjin are the manufacturers or ones the dealer had already paid for, and the dealership may not necessarily be able to get the full amount of insurance compensation, because the cars are insured by the vehicle producers, not them.

"If the insurance company doesn't give total compensation, we will have to hope the automaker offers some subsidies. If the automaker doesn't give subsidies, we will have to bear it ourselves," the person said.