A cargo ship packed with thousands of Volkswagen Group vehicles is on fire in the Atlantic Ocean
- A cargo ship carrying thousands of new cars bound for the US caught fire on Wednesday.
- Its crew was evacuated, but the vehicles are still on board.
The 650-foot-long Felicity Ace was on its way from Germany to the US when it caught fire and was evacuated by the Portuguese Navy on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported on Thursday. Now it's on fire, without a crew, floating off the coast of Portugal. In all, 22 crew members were evacuated.
The ship was transporting nearly 4,000 vehicles built by Germany's
"We are aware of an incident today involving a cargo ship transporting Volkswagen Group vehicles across the Atlantic," a spokesperson said in an email. "At this time, we are not aware of any injuries. We are working with local authorities and the shipping company to investigate the cause of the incident."
The spokesperson did not go into detail about the specific brands affected. In the US, the Volkswagen Group sells vehicles under the Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Bugatti brands. A
Customers affected by the blaze will be contacted by their Porsche dealer, the spokesperson said.
The incident comes during a chaotic time in the auto industry. A global shortage of computer chips continues to squeeze automakers, forcing them to cut shifts and produce fewer vehicles. A lack of new inventory on dealer lots is making new and used cars extraordinarily expensive, and industry watchers believe the high prices may never return to pre-pandemic levels.
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