The spine chilling blasts which engulfed China’s Tianjin port wrecked a havoc so big that it would take a long time to restore normalcy. The accident was a huge blow to certain automakers as over 10,000 imported cars which were stored in the vicinity were completely destroyed in fire.
Tata Motors, the parent company of Jaguar Land Rover, informed at Bombay Stock Exchange that nearly 5,800 of its cars which were stored in various locations around Tianjin port may have been damaged. The company added that it is unable to take stock of the situation and quantify the damage since access to facilities near the site of explosion are still restricted by authorities.
Tianjin is one of the largest ports in China and is a highly preferred port of call for several automakers. Various reports indicate that over 15,000 newly imported cars belonging to manufacturers Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, JLR, Renault, Hyundai and Kia were parked in the area, waiting for delivery. The net worth of these automobiles is said to be around USD 1 billion (INR 6,500 crores).
JLR’s 5,800 stranded vehicles would have accounted for a fortnight’s worth of business for the company in the world’s largest auto market. Industry experts say that the financial implication of damaged vehicles may not be severe, but the temporary delay in supply of these cars would increase the waiting period which may reflect on JLR China’s sales volume, especially considering that the market is slowing down.