Burning cargo ship with Porsches and Lamborghinis sinks
A huge cargo ship carrying 4,000 luxury sports cars, including Lamborghinis, Porsches, Audis and Bentleys, worth a total of $400 million sank off the coast of Europe on Tuesday.
The Felicity Ace, a 60,000-ton merchant ship that caught fire on February 17, ran aground about 253 miles off the Azores, a mid-Atlantic Portuguese archipelago.
The ship’s owner, MOL Ship Management Singapore Pte Ltd, said the Panamanian-flagged vessel sank around 9 a.m. local time.
The Felicity Ace began to tilt and ingest water after catching fire. There were no fatalities as all 22 seamen on board the ship were rescued after the fire broke out last month.
According to Bloomberg, 3,965 Volkswagen AG vehicles were on board, including 1,100 Porches. The ship set sail from Emden, Germany on February 10 and was en route to Davisville, Rhode Island.
Volkswagen’s parent company makes its Volkswagen brand, as well as Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini models, all of which were on board, according to an internal company email seen by the outlet.
While Volkswagen refused to estimate the value of the lost luxury cars, an accident insurance group told the Wall Street Journal that it put the vehicles’ value at around $401 million.
Car dealerships in Michigan and Rhode Island took calls from nervous customers who were following the news about the ship.
A man tweeted that his custom Porsche Boxster Spyder was on the doomed ship. Base models of the vehicle will sell for $100,000.
European automakers declined to discuss how many vehicles and what models were on board, but Porsche customers in the United States have been contacted by their dealerships, the company said.
“We are already working to replace every car affected by this incident and the first new cars will be built soon,” Angus Fitton, vice president of PR at Porsche Cars North America, Inc., told The Associated Press in an email .