A ship grounded off the southern English coast has affected Volkswagen South Africa as well as the local BMW unit.


As just-auto reported earlier this week, looters made off with car parts and BMW motorbikes as container and cargo wreckage littered the beach after MSC Napoli was purposely grounded last Saturday to prevent it sinking at sea amid storms.


The vessel was supposed to unload almost half of its 2,400 containers at South African ports in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, Mike Vanhear, Johannesburg’s manager for MSC, one of the world’s largest shipping lines, told Reuters.


Volkswagen South Africa told the news agency it would shut production at its South African plant every Friday for at least the next four weeks after vehicle parts needed for four car models – the Citigolf, Polo, Golf and Jetta – were lost.


The reduced production would affect about two thirds of Volkswagen’s 6,500 domestic workforce, a spokeswoman told Reuters, declining to to say whether the change would disturb sales.


Reuters added that South African steel maker Columbus Stainless had confirmed that at least 1,000 tonnes of nickel was on the ship while BMW South Africa said it had 39 motorbikes and vehicle spare parts on board.


Some of the containers were also carrying the belongings of people emigrating to South Africa, officials told the news agency.


A search is still underway to recover more than 30 lost containers while some 70 have been found, London’s Zodiac Maritime Agencies, managers of the ship, told Reuters.