- a month ago, the cargo ship felicity ace caught fire and eventually sank in the atlantic ocean while carrying around 4000 vw group vehicles, including lamborghinis, audis, bentleys, and porsches.
- fifteen of the lost vehicles were $500,000 aventador ultimae models, which had officially ended production. lamborghini told car and driver that it has re-established the supply chain to build more of them after a "great effort."
- vw isn't saying exactly how it will rebuild or redirect vehicles to make sure everyone who ordered a car that was lost will still get theirs in the end, but did say that insurance will cover the damage and that customers are being notified about their individual situations.
update 3/18/2022, 3 p.m.: porsche has confirmed that it will replace the new vehicles that were on the doomed cargo ship on their way to u.s. buyers. ceo oliver blume, quoted by autocar, said, "we had over 1000 cars on the ship. now it's up to us to recover the production while we are faced with all the challenges: semiconductors, the supply chain—especially with the ukrainian war." he did not clarify which models were on the ship.
around 4000 new vehicles from the volkswagen group were aboard the felicity ace cargo ship that first caught fire a month ago and then sank in the atlantic ocean near the azores on march 1. this week, vw has confirmed that it will replace the premium vehicles that were lost, including 15 lamborghini aventadors that cost around a half-million dollars each.
a lamborghini spokesperson confirmed to car and driver that 85 lamborghini vehicles were on the felicity ace, with 15 of them being aventador ultimae models.
"we are working to prioritize production capacity to ensure that the orders will be replaced as soon as possible," the spokesperson said. "we will try to minimize the impact on customers as much as possible. with great effort we managed to re-establish the aventador ultimae supply chain to restore the missing cars."
automobili lamborghini ceo stephan winkelmann told automotive news that every customer with an ordered vehicle on the now-sunken ship will eventually receive their new ride.
"we put our heads together, and luckily, we are able to replace those cars, so there will be no loss for our customers in the u.s. due to the sunken ship. this is good news," winkelmann said. "and all the rest we are able to replace. the aventador was tricky, but we made it."
the vw group, which owns lamborghini, also issued a statement about the sunk vehicles that made clear that, while the automaker was relieved to hear that the entire crew of the ship was saved, it really can't say anything about the ship, the accident, the sinking, or any environmental consequences, because the volkswagen group was not the owner of the ship.
"almost 4000 vehicles of the group's brands sank with the ship," the company told car and driver. "the damage to the vehicles is covered by insurance. the cargo was destined for the american market. brands and dealers have already started to inform their customers and to find individual solutions."
bentley motors ceo adrian hallmark told automotive news that the company has figured out a solution to replace more than half of the 189 bentleys lost with the ship (by redirecting unsold vehicles from other locations) and that the others would be taken care of within the next six months.
"we're doing some clever things with dealers to keep [those customers] mobile, which i won't talk about," hallmark said.
there were around 1800 audi vehicles on the felicity ace, and they, too, will be replaced, said audi ceo markus duesmann, without going into detail of how this will happen.
while all of the vw brands that lost vehicles on the ship are finding ways to replace them, the aventador ultimae models are the most difficult, since they were limited-edition vehicles that had officially ended production. in this way, the news of replacements is similar to how porsche restarted production of the limited-edition 911 gt2 rs when a small number of those vehicles sank with a ship in 2019.