Tianjin (China) Blast Destroys 2000 New Cars

Wednesday’s blast (ammonium nitrate and calcium carbide) that leveled the port city of Tianjin also set fire to + or - 2000 new cars lined up on the docks awaiting shipment…The majority of the new cars were Renault’s…Carmakers now have a new consideration when moving production facilities to low-wage countries…It’s hard to boost profits when 2000 of your new cars go up in smoke…Ouch!

Well, China is now the largest new car market in the world, bigger than the US, bigger than the EU. So 2000 cars is small, compared to the number they make and sell there (more than 15 million/year).

That’s about forty million dollars worth of new cars (export models). For a company like Renault, that still has to hurt…Maybe they have insurance…

True. I’d think there’d be some type of insurance, but maybe a company that size is self-insured for these kinds of losses. Like when that ship carrying lots of Mazdas (I think) hit a storm and damaged many of the cars.

The actual number of cars destroyed is over 8,000.


Wow. And note that these were cars being shipped into the country, not being exported…

CNN said it was 1000 cars but a lot anyway. Where they coming or going? I thought they were on the docks to be shipped out but maybe just arrived. They were all white! Oh boy.

.Carmakers now have a new consideration when moving production facilities to low-wage countries

I don’t know what low wages has to do with this. We had a similar explosion in TX back in the 40’s or 50’s. It was the largest non nuclear explosion ever. Several hundred people killed. Thousands left homeless. Several hundred homes destroyed.

it appears that the cars consumed in the subsequent fire were awaiting export. Does anyone have an idea of where they would be going? I speculate that they would be going to Africa or some other country that China needs a positive trade balance with. Maybe, Cuba!!!

When I heard that a warehouse full of toxic chemicals had exploded in China, my first thought was…I wonder if the food processing plant next door was also damaged?

But, apparently this was something other than the toxic stuff that they normally put into the food supply in that country.

This recent Yahoo article refers to the cars as being imported to China.

Yeah, my first thought was, “I better DRIVE down to the 99 cent store and stock up on toothpaste and candy before they run out”. :smiley: But seriously, probably just part of the cost of doing business. If they’re not insured, they’ll just charge $20 more for each car they sell and make it up in volume.

Some reports say the fires are still burning…Accurate news reports are hard to find as the Chinese Government has clamped down on any video or reports leaving the area…

A late report from an automotive source has 8000 cars destroyed, 4000 of them Hyundai’s …

Chump change after saving money by shafting workers pay and avoiding cost of environmental and safety concerns are involved, coming to us soon I fear. The cost of doing business.

Ammonium nitrate (fertilizer) along with diesel fuel is what bomber Tim McVeigh used to destroy the Murrah Federal building in OK City with back in 1995. About a ton of it was all he used to cause that much damage.

It can be pretty nasty, volatile stuff.

The city of Texas City on Galveston Bay, was leveled by an ammonium nitrate blast when a ship loaded with that chemical caught fire in the harbor…This happened in April, 1947.

I remember watching a documentary on TV about Texas City. That was pretty brutal.

Yes, Galveston explosion was on my mind too. So China is about 60 years behind us in hazardous material safety.

My father’s brother, my uncle, was on another ship close by when that ship exploded in Texas City. It was his first job when he left the Navy in 1946. He never did tell me what was loaded on his ship but he started working for the railroad not long after this incident. He retired after 30 years with the L&N railroad and he always drove Ford’s…both cars and trucks.

Forget about the cars. At least 700 people were injured in the blast and at least 50 people were killed, many of them fire fighters. Someone will always make more cars to send to China.

China has about 1,300,000,000 people. About 300,000,000 are at least as affluent as the 300,000,000 or so people living in this country. That’s a huge market for cars, probably bigger than ours.