Vehicles gradually being driven off Hoegh Osaka

Vehicles gradually being driven off Hoegh Osaka

BMW says it is waiting for the full report of its inspectors before deciding what to do with its cars being gradually offloaded from the Hoegh Osaka docked in Southampton Port, with footage emerging of some of the total 1,400 vehicles being driven off with "bumps and dents." 

"They are being offloaded and are awaiting inspection by our insurers," a BMW spokeswoman told just-auto. "Once we have the report we will [know] the condition of the vehicles [and] we will be deciding what happens next.

"The next critical point is for the cars to be inspected - that really will be the next point where something happens. The guys at the port are getting the vehicles off and ours will come off in due course."

As well as BMW's 65 Minis and one Rolls-Royce Wraith, there are 1,200 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles on board, many bound for German and Middle East destinations prior to the Hoegh Osaka being deliberately rammed onto a sandbank after it developed a severe list shortly on departure from Southampton on 3 January.

Video has emerged of many of the 1,400 vehicles being driven off, some with damage but nonetheless driveable, although what now happens to the cars remains unknown.

Precedent suggests they could be destined for the wreckers yard, as was the case with Mazda in 2006 after a similar incident, but it appears the apparent roadworthy condition of the Hoegh Osaka's cargo could present a major headache for automakers wrestling with potential insurance issues in the future.

"There are 1,400 car equivalent units [in] quite reasonable [condition] - they were able to be driven off," a spokesman for Hoegh Osaka owners, Hoegh Autoliners told just-auto. "

"Some of them have dents and bumps, but it is [as] good as we could have expected. Once they are off the ship, they become an insurance issue and we deal with simply getting the vessel back."

Hoegh Autoliners operates a fleet of 60 giant car transporters shipping cars around the world, with the company noting it had shifted capacity following the Hoegh Osaka drama in early January.

After the repair of a crack in the side of the ship caused by shifting machinery, which allowed 3,000t of water to pour in, the Hoegh Osaka does not appear to require substantial work before putting to sea again, although no date is yet available as to when that might be.