1. Japan car makers, including Toyota Motor, retailers report minor damage from blasts at China port

Japan car makers, including Toyota Motor, retailers report minor damage from blasts at China port

Several Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp reported damage to cars and facilities after two huge explosions at the Chinese port of Tianjin tore through an industrial area where toxic chemicals and gas were stored.

By: | Published: August 14, 2015 10:12 AM

Several Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp reported damage to cars and facilities after two huge explosions at the Chinese port of Tianjin tore through an industrial area where toxic chemicals and gas were stored.

The blasts in the city of Tianjin on Wednesday night killed at least 50 people, including a dozen fire fighters, state media said. About 700 people were injured.

Toyota said on Friday that the blasts broke windows at its car assembly, logistics, and research and development facilities. Operations had been closed for a week-long summer holiday and no one was injured, it said.

But two workers at a dealership were hurt by broken glass, and there had been reports of several injuries to employees living in the surrounding area, including at a company dormitory, Toyota said.

Some vehicles were “affected” by the explosion but Toyota was still trying to find out the extent of the damage and the number of vehicles involved, the company said.

“In our current view, the damage isn’t that severe,” a Beijing-based Toyota spokesman said.

Toyota’s factory, logistics and R&D facilities are jointly run with China FAW Group Corporation. Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd  has a stake in the logistics centre.

Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, meanwhile, said more than 100 cars exported from Japan and awaiting customs clearance in a warehouse were damaged by broken windows. The warehouse, which does not belong to Fuji Heavy, is located about 2 km (1.2 miles) from the blast site, it said.

Mazda Motor Corp said an unknown number of its cars imported from Japan were also damaged, with peeling paint and scratches. One nearby showroom closed its doors on Thursday after its windows shattered, a spokesman said.

Among others, Honda Motor Co said it had seen no impact on its motorcycle factory, owned jointly with Sundiro Holding Co Ltd, and all dealerships in the area were operating normally. Some showrooms were slightly affected but the extent of damage was unknown, a local spokesman said.

Among Japanese retailers, Aeon Co said a mall about 2 km away with broken windows was closed on Friday.

“We want to reopen as soon as possible but we don’t know when that would be,” a spokesman said. The company is assessing the damage inside the building, he added.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd had ceiling damage near the entrance of a department store about 4 km away, it said. It was operating normally on Friday, a spokesman said.

Otsuka Holdings Co said a factory that makes the Pocari Sweat sports drink 4 km away would be closed on Friday and Saturday to confirm the site’s safety.

Tags: China
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