At least 2,300 Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles that were about to be shipped to U.S. and Japan showrooms were seen scattered like toy cars during the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan. While parked at two coastal loading points, nearly 1,300 Infiniti M, EX and FX models bound for North America were hit by massive waves.
At the Port of Hitachi in Ibaraki prefecture, hundreds of brand new Nissan and Infiniti vehicles were shown piled on top of one another.
Many of the Infiniti models were later shown to be on fire. At the Port of Hitachi, all the 1,300 cars there that were waiting to be exported to the U.S. were destroyed. Most of these carried Infiniti nameplates such as the M sedan and EX and FX crossovers.
A few were 370Z sports cars. These cars were built at Nissan’s Infiniti assembly plant in the Tochigi prefecture nearby. The tsunami also damaged a service center in neighboring Miyagi prefecture, where cars were built and were prepared to be shipped to domestic dealers.
At that site, around 1,000 vehicles were damaged. According to Nissan Motor Co., fire had destroyed many of the vehicles at the Port of Hitachi. However, Nissan couldn’t say what caused the fire; it also couldn’t provide an exact breakdown.