VW Group Vehicles Worth $150 M On Burning Ship


After a burning ship carrying almost 4,000 VW Group vehicles caught fire last week, it now appears that hundreds of Porsche, Bentley, Audi, and some very rare Lamborghinis have been completely destroyed in the mishap, reports Hotcars.

About the incident

Felicity Ace, a 60,000-ton cargo vessel having an enormous load of conventional and luxury vehicles from Germany, was heading for US dealerships located in Rhode Island when a fire was discovered on board close to Portugal’s Azores Islands.

Although the entire crew was quickly rescued to the nearest shore by helicopter, the ship carrying more than $400 million worth of automobiles is still stranded near the coast of Portugal, as the fire is now almost out after a week.

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Reason For Cargo Ship Going Up In Flames

MOL Ship Management, the Singapore-based company that manages Felicity Ace, has previously told the Wall Street Journal that there was no oil leakage. The fire was sufficiently contained to avoid the whole ship sinking or exploding.

Pictures and videos posted by Felicity Ace on social media showcase flames rising to the sky from the stern and then spreading across the abandoned vessel. After the Portuguese navy helped crew members on board, boats with firefighting equipment arrived during the weekend. But stopping the flames and saving the remaining cars on the ship hasn’t been an easy job.

Battery Electric Vehicles Complicating The Matter

It’s still unclear what caused the fire; however, what’s clear is why the fire is still burning. It turns out that the ship was carrying a lot of electric vehicles (EVs), which makes the situation more complicated.

Ocean water can’t be used to stop the fire because adding weight to the vessel could cause it to be unstable. Also, traditional water extinguishers can’t prevent lithium-ion batteries from burning up. An investigation continues and will occur after the vessel has been ultimately rescued. MOL stated that it will take “months until they have completed an investigation and can determine the details of what took place.”

It’s an absolute tragedy. A press release by British insurance firm Russell Group evaluates that roughly $438 million worth of commodities was present on the ship, including $401 million worth of vehicles. Russell Group has calculated that Volkswagen will also suffer from a loss of $155 million from the incident. That also means a lot of US customers who had ordered a Porsche, Audi, Bentley or Lamborghini, won’t be getting their dream car anytime soon.

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Source: Hotcars