Luxury cars bound for Wichita stranded on burning cargo ship

Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 11:17 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Stranded and on fire, a cargo ship sits in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. The Portuguese Navy quickly rescued the ship’s crew, but thousands of luxury cars remain on board. Customers across the U.S. will likely have to wait to get their new rides shipped from Germany. That includes customers in Wichita. A few of the vehicles still on board were supposed to go to customers at Walser Auto Campus in Wichita.

“The VP of the Walser Auto Campus sent a text message out saying, ‘have you guys seen this?’ And sure enough, I went through the cars we have coming in and discovered we did have a couple cars on that vessel,” said Manager of Operations at Porsche of Wichita, Cody Hutson.

Hutson said after the dealership learned they had cars on the stranded ship, they immediately called their customs to let them know what was going on and waited on more guidance from Porsche.

“Those clients have been very understanding, they know it’s out of our control,” Hutson said. “The best thing we can do is give them all the information we have.”

It’s an extremely rare event at an especially inconvenient time.

“What poor timing, with everything already being a real challenge to get people their cars. And we get people the cars they’ve always wanted,” Hutson said.

He said it’s too soon to tell if cars meant for customers in Wichita are a total loss as the ship is still in the middle of the ocean. If that’s the case, Hutson said the dealership will find a way to get customers their Porsches as soon as they can.

“They’ve been really good at keeping us up to date about what they plan to do if they become total losses,” Hutson said.

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