The roll-on/roll-off cargo ship, Grande America, caught fire and sank off the coast of France on March 12 from Hamburg to Casablanca. An estimated 2,000 luxury vehicles were lost, including Audis and Porsches.
Audi Brazil confirmed the vessel was carrying hundreds of A3, A5, Q7, and dozens of RS4, and RS5 models.
MV Grande America has just sunk in about 4,600 meters of water, 180nm west of the French Coast.— NavyLookout (@NavyLookout) March 12, 2019
Pollution risk and floating wreckage potential hazard to navigation in Bay of Biscay. pic.twitter.com/xe5YVy9jVy
Porsche, however, hasn’t made a public statement about the incident, but thanks to an anonymous tip from Carscoops, a letter sent by Porsche Brazil to a customer shows their $300,000 911 GT2 RS was lost in the Grande America accident.
Carscoops translated the letter:
”We are sorry to inform you that, due to a fire, a Grimaldi group ship, that was transporting your vehicle, sank on March 12, 2019. And for that reason, your GT2 RS can not be delivered.
As you may know, Porsche ended the 991 GT2 RS production on February 2019 and under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t be possible to give you another car. But, due to the nature of the situation, and considering that you’re a loyal and highly valuable customer for our brand, Porsche has decided to resume the GT2 RS production in Germany, and your vehicle will be produced in April, with delivery scheduled for June.
We recommend that you contact your local Porsche Center for further information.”
Brazilian sources told Carscoops that the vessel carried at least four Porsche 911 GT2 RS, worth about $1.2 million, along with other models, including Boxsters, 718 Caymans, and Cayennes.
A Porsche Brazil spokesperson confirmed 37 of its luxury cars were aboard the doomed vessel. The carmaker even said it would reopen production lines in the next several months to replace the lost 911 GT2 RS units.
“In a special decision and to uphold its commitment to its valued Brazilian customers, Porsche has ensured that those units will be reproduced in the order in which they were originally confirmed”, the spokesperson added.
The cause of the fire is unknown at the moment; French authorities believe it started on the car deck and quickly spread to the container part of the vessel.