More than 450 brand new BMWs were left damaged beyond repair while parked up next to a construction site in Germany which housed a “huge pile of sand” while awaiting delivery to the UK, The Sun reports.
A further 3,500 cars were in need of servicing and checks before they could be distributed to British retailers.
BMW workers say several £120,000 i8 hybrid sports cars were also caught in the sandstorm.
The total cost of scrapped cars is thought to total £11million.
A BMW spokesman said: “A number of BMW vehicle orders were affected due to a major storm in Cuxhaven, one of the key ports through which many UK-bound vehicles travel.
“The severe weather resulted in construction materials located at the Port contaminating a number of vehicles while in transit.
“Roughly 4,000 cars were at the Port so needed to be checked.
“Of those, there are about 450 where we deemed it necessary to either build a new car for the customer or offer them an alternative vehicle that we already had in stock.
“As a precaution we thoroughly checked and cleaned every vehicle, many of which were completely unaffected.”
An employee at Southampton Cargo Handling, the company tasked with cleaning the cars, said: “A flat matte paint job for these cars costs around £20,000 – they are that expensive.
“Around 4,000 cars were covered by big mountains of sand – many were scrapped costing BMW a small fortune.
“The vehicles they didn’t scrap were distributed around the UK.
“We service BMWs to make them squeaky clean for dealerships and rental companies in the south of England.
“It was quite shocking when we heard what happened in a brief by management.
“A lot of cars which came through to us had sand falling out including one car which had sand falling from the bumper.”