Audi, Porsche among thousands of luxury cars left adrift in Atlantic as ship catches fire

Published on Feb 18, 2022 10:52 AM IST

As many as 3,965 Volkswagen AG vehicles are aboard the ship, reported Bloomberg, citing an internal email from Volkswagen’s US operations.

A logo of German carmaker Volkswagen. (Representational image)(REUTERS)
A logo of German carmaker Volkswagen. (Representational image)(REUTERS)
Written by Shubhangi Gupta | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

A cargo ship carrying thousands of luxury cars from the Volkswagen Group, including Porsche, Lamborghini and Audi, caught fire near the Azores islands in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday afternoon. While the 22 crew members were successfully evacuated, the transport ship was left adrift and unmanned in the ocean.

The ship named ‘The Felicity Ace’ was on its way to the port of Davisville in the US state of Rhode Island when the tragedy struck the vessel. The crew members were taken to a local hotel by the Portuguese Navy and Air Force, who were deployed to help with the rescue effort, news agency Bloomberg quoted the Navy as saying in a statement.

As many as 3,965 Volkswagen AG vehicles are aboard the ship, reported Bloomberg, citing an internal email from Volkswagen’s US operations.

Headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, the group manufactures its Volkswagen brand, as well as Porsche, Audi, and Lamborghini — all of which were in tow when the vessel set ablaze, the email further read.

Over 100 of those cars were headed for Port of Houston in Texas, with GTI, Golf R, and ID.4 models deemed to be at risk, according to the email.

Luke Vandezande, a spokesperson for Porsche, said the company estimates around 1,100 of its vehicles were among those on board Felicity Ace at the time of the fire. He said customers affected by the incident are being contacted by their automobile dealers.

“Our immediate thoughts are of relief that the 22 crew of the merchant ship Felicity Ace are safe and well,” Vandezande said.

Some customers expressed their disappointment on social media. A Twitter user reported his custom spec’d Porsche Boxter Spyder was among the departed cargo. Standard models of the vehicle start around $99,650.

A spokesperson for Lamborghini’s US branch declined to comment on the number of cars the company had on board or which models were affected, but said that they are in contact with the shipping company to get more information about the incident.

It is not the first time the manufacturer has lost merchandise at sea. When the Grande America caught fire and sank in 2019, over 2,000 luxury cars, including Audi and Porsche, sank with it.

(With agency inputs)

Get Latest World Newsalong with Latest Newsfrom Indiaat Hindustan Times.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, February 01, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals