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Report: Lamborghini awaits news of models on fire-stricken ship

Salvage work is set to get under way imminently on board the Felicity Ace, a 650ft-long cargo ship which caught fire last week while transporting 4000 VW Group vehicles from Germany to the US.

The fire started in the hold as the ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean, with 22 crew members rescued by the Portuguese Navy. It is unclear which models exactly were on board, but reports suggest Volkswagen, Bentley, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini had cars on the boat, with an American economist estimating the cost of damages at $335 million (£247m).

It was destined for the US, sailing from Emden port in Germany to Davisville, Rhode Island, online trackers have said. The Portuguese Navy said last wek that four merchant ships were assisting with the rescue near the island of Faial in the Azores, along with one of its own patrol boats.

Lamborghini America CEO Andrea Baldi told Automotive News Europe that the Urus accounted for the bulk of Lamborghini models on board, but there were also Hurácan and Aventador customer cars on the Felicity Ace and it is yet to be determined what state they are in.

“We don’t know yet the final outcome. We also are waiting for official information for the time being,” Baldi told ANE. “We have informed our dealers, and they have informed our customers, because whatever happens, in any case, there will be a delay.”

The Aventador is sold out ahead of production ending later this year, so any damaged cars may need to be rebuilt, Baldi said. “The car is sold out, so there is always a possibility out of 563 units that some cancellation can allow an Aventador replacement, but I prefer to hope for the time being that at least the few Aventadors on the ship will be safe,” he added.

Last week, Porsche posted an update on its ‘Track Your Dream’ shipment tracking service: “We’re aware of an incident aboard the Felicity Ace, a specialized cargo ship carrying certain Porsche vehicles. Your dealership will provide you with additional information on how this impacts you as soon as we have additional information and know the full scope of the issue.”

In a separate statement to The Drive last Wednesday, Porsche said: “Our immediate thoughts are of the 22 crew of the merchant ship Felicity Ace, all of whom we understand are safe and well as a result of their rescue by the Portuguese Navy following reports of a fire on board.

“We believe a number of our cars are among the cargo on board the ship. No further details of the specific cars affected are available at this time. We’re in close contact with the shipping company and will share more information in due course. “

Volkswagen meanwhile also released a statement, saying it was aware of an incident “involving a cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic. We are working with local authorities and the shipping company to investigate the cause of the incident,” it continued.

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