Ship part

Luxury cars bound for Wichita stuck on burning freighter

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Beached and on fire, a cargo ship lies 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 United States will likely have to wait for their new rides to ship from Germany. This includes Wichita customers. A few of the vehicles still on board were meant to be on their way to customers at the Walser Auto Campus in Wichita.

“The Vice President of the Walser Auto Campus sent a text saying, ‘Did you see that?’ And of course I went through the cars that we have and found that we have a few cars on this ship,” said Walser Auto Campus, Wichita General Manager Cody Hutson.

Hutson said after the dealer learned there were cars on the stranded vessel, they immediately called their customs to let them know what was going on and waited for further guidance from Porsche.

“These customers 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.”

This is an extremely rare occurrence at a particularly inopportune time.

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

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

“They’ve been very good at keeping us updated on what they plan to do if they become total losses,” Hutson said.

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