The brand is already facing production issues related to the semiconductor chip shortage.
Now resting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the Felicity Ace cargo ship succumbed to its injuries, sinking after sustaining tremendous fire damage. The vessel, carrying over 4,000 cars in its hold, caught alight and remained on fire as rescuers and emergency personnel attempted to control the flames. Onboard were myriad luxury cars, with around 200 Bentleys and numerous Lamborghinis forever lost to The Pond.
Among the prestigious vehicles were 15 Lamborghini Aventador Ultimaes, forcing the Italian company to recreate what is, essentially, the swansong of the Aventador lineage. It may not be easy, but Lamborghini will be able to rebuild the lost cars. Fellow VW Group member Porsche has also expressed its plans on how it will deal with the loss of 1,000 vehicles, says Autocar, with CEO Oliver Blume saying the company will have to recover production.
Discussing the matter at the brand's annual results meeting, Blume said, "Unfortunately, the ship sunk and we had over 1,000 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 - but we are used to working with challenges over the last two years."
Even though Porsche is a relatively large manufacturer, replacing 1,000 lost vehicles is a tall order, especially with the current challenges facing the automotive industry. The CEO has not specified which cars have been lost to the nautical incident, but even the cheapest 911 models cost a pretty penny. When news of the fire first broke, YouTuber Matt Farah took to Twitter to announce that his 718 Spyder was one of the cars on board.
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and chip shortage were slowly beginning to wear off, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused further production and supply issues for carmakers. Porsche has had to suspend production of two models, the Macan and Panamera. As the company's best-seller, production interruptions for a cash cow like the Macan can have serious consequences.
We're not too concerned; despite the aforementioned circumstances, Porsche still managed to break its own sales record in 2021, delivering 70,025 in the USA alone. That's no mean feat when you consider its cheapest car is $54,900. While we're sure Porsche will be able to replace the lost cars, it does pose a challenge to the brand.
Will these customers get preference? If so, how much longer will others have to wait, especially considering the circumstances? Another issue, of course, is the environmental mess the sunken ship poses. With sustainability front of mind, we can't imagine anyone is too happy about a bevy of Porsches rotting at the bottom of the ocean.