Should BMW care about looted bikes?

 asks whether companies such as BMW, (whose products have been looted from beaches following the grounding of cargo ship MSC Napoli) have any public responsibility – especially if their goods are consequently sold on via Ebay or otherwise.

I’m sure the corporate legal guys have been on the case, since there are issues over registration and warranties (not least because the bikes and car parts were bound for South Africa).  

But no response yet via public relations?  reports the story – but no quotes or reflection on the legal and other implications.  near Stuttgart states BMW “has appointed a recovery agency to track down missing goods” and cites a spokeswoman (presumably at Munich HQ):  “we will have to wait until we can start salvaging to see what has gone overboard.”

I presume a decision was made not to make a public statement – although “nicking” a BMW motorbike has become the iconic meme of the story.  As Stuart says, maybe publicly supporting the police on this occasion would have been useful.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

2 thoughts on “Should BMW care about looted bikes?”

  1. Do we assume BMW had the right level of insurance cover that allows for incidents such as this? I wonder also if BMW have to make a decent attempt at finding the bikes before the insurance policy will pay out.

  2. As I understand it, BMW is insured for the loss of the bikes in transit – and all the vehicles will have identification numbers which they will undoubtedly have given to their motorcycle dealers should any make their way into the official distribution channels.

    I am not sure if it is BMW’s responsibility to recover the bikes – presumably the insurance companies will be the ones trying to resolve matters. Also as I understood the salvage situation, the bikes shouldn’t actually be sold – those who have taken them should retain for 12 months and if they’ve not been claimed back, then they are rightfully theirs.

    (That will be an interesting one for those who took dog food – bet that’s long gone in Fido’s belly)

    I think that legally it will be hard to register and insure the salvaged bikes, but that doesn’t mean there are ways and means for those who aren’t concerned about the law and responsibilities in this case. Beware of anyone in a pub offering a good deal on car parts, BMW motorbikes or dog food, I say….

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