The U.S. customers whose high-end vehicles are now on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean in the burned hulk of Felicity Ace will all get their orders filled — including 15 out-of-production Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae editions, the CEOs of Volkswagen Group's premium brands told Automotive News.
In an online roundtable with journalists, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said executives at the supercar brand had to scramble to be able to replace the $500,000 hand-crafted Aventador Ultimae editions on board.
"This was the edition which was closing the production of the Aventador, and there were 15 on board of the ship," Winkelmann said.
Brand officials had previously disclosed that there were 85 Lamborghinis aboard, primarily Urus SUVs, but hadn't said how many were end-of-run Aventador Ultimaes.
"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."
Felicity Ace caught fire at sea on Feb. 16 in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal en route to the United States with nearly 4,000 vehicles aboard, primarily from VW Group brands. The vessel sank March 1 in rough seas as it was being towed back to port. An Audi spokesman said that the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said his brand has already "found a solution" to replace more than half of the 189 pre-sold Bentleys that were aboard the ship, and should be able to replace the remainder within six months.
"We've already found a solution for 100 that we can rapidly redirect, and we will catch the others up within six months," he said. "We've promised those customers, and we're doing some clever things with dealers to keep [those customers] mobile, which I won't talk about."
Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, said the brand's approximately 1,800 cars aboard Felicity Ace will also be replaced. "We are able to replace them," he said. "It will take some time, but we will do our best."