Audi has sent a message of strength and support to the people of Beirut after the devastating explosion that killed nearly 180 people and wounded thousands more.
The explosion at the port on August 4, which was caused by more than 2,700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been unsafely stored, left 178 people dead at the latest count and injured an estimated 6,000, with at least 30 people still missing.
It also caused widespread damage to buildings, including the Audi dealership, which was completely destroyed, and although the staff were safe many of them lost their homes. Nearly a quarter of a million people in total are believed to have been left homeless.
In a message on LinkedIn that included a picture showing the remnants of the showroom, Audi sales and marketing board director Hildegard Wortmann said: ‘It is with great sorrow that I wish to express my deepest sympathy to our Audi team in Beirut and to everybody there who is suffering from this unbelievable tragedy.
‘I have been in contact with Nabil Kettaneh, who is our Audi importer and partner in Beirut, immediately the morning after and so grateful to hear that everybody is safe while our dealership has been completely destroyed.
‘Many of our team have lost their homes and their families have been impacted. Your grief is the grief of the whole Audi family worldwide. Our thoughts and compassion are with you and the victims‘ families.
‘May strength and confidence be with you!’
Audi also showed its solidarity via Instagram:
Other manufacturers’ showrooms are understood to have suffered major damage as well, and Jaguar, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Suzuki and Seat have demonstrated their support and resilience via the social media platform too, with Ford donating to the relief programme and urging other automotive brands to do the same.
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