Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die

Tyler Durden's picture

In the past several years, one of the topics covered in detail on these pages has been the surge in such gimmicks designed to disguise lack of demand and end customer sales, used extensively by US automotive manufacturers, better known as "channel stuffing", of which General Motors is particularly guilty and whose inventory at dealer lots just hit a new record high. But did you know that when it comes to flat or declining sales and stagnant end demand, channel stuffing is merely the beginning?


Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die (courtesy of Vincent Lewis' Unsold Cars)

Above is just a few of the thousands upon thousands of unsold cars at Sheerness, United Kingdom.  Please do see this on Google Maps....type in Sheerness, United Kingdom.  Look to the west coast, below River Thames next to River Medway. Left of A249, Brielle Way.

Timestamp: Friday, May 16th, 2014.

There are hundreds of places like this in the world today and they keep on piling up...


Houston...We have a problem!...Nobody is buying brand new cars anymore!  Well they are, but not on the scale they once were.  Millions of brand new unsold cars are just sitting redundant on runways and car parks around the world.  There, they stay, slowly deteriorating without being maintained.

Below is an image of a massive car park at Swindon, United Kingdom, with thousands upon thousands of unsold cars just sitting there with not a buyer in sight. The car manufacturers have to buy more and more land just to park their cars as they perpetually roll off the production line.

There is proof that the worlds recession is still biting and wont let go.  All around the world there are huge stockpiles of unsold cars and they are being added to every day.  They have run out of space to park all of these brand new unsold cars and are having to buy acres and acres of land to store them.


The images on this webpage showing all of these unsold cars are just a very small portion of those around the world.  There are literally thousands of these "car parks" rammed full of unsold cars in practically every country on the planet.  Just in case you were wondering, these images have not been Photoshopped, they are the real deal!

Its hard to believe that there are so many unsold cars in the world but its true.  The worse part is that the amount of unsold cars keeps on getting bigger every day.

It would be fair to say that it is becoming a mechanical epidemic of epic proportions.  If anybody from outer space is reading this webpage, we here on Earth have too many cars, why not come and buy a few hundred thousand of them for your own planet! (sorry but this is all I can think of)

Below is shown just a few of the 57,000 cars (and growing) that await delivery from their home in the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. With Google Maps look South of Broening Hwy in Dundalk for the massive expanse of space where all these cars are parked up.

The car industry would never sell these cars at massive reductions in their prices to get rid of them, no they still want every buck.  If they were to price these cars for a couple of thousand they would sell them.  However, nobody would then buy any expensive cars and then they  would end up being unsold.  Its quite a pickle we have gotten ourselves into.

Below is shown an image of the Nissan test track in Sunderland United Kingdom.  Only it is no longer being used, reason...there are too many unsold cars parked up on it!  The amount of cars keeps on piling up on it until its overflowing.  Nissan then acquires more land to park up the cars, as they continue to come off the production line.

UPDATE: Currently May 16th, 2014, all of these cars at the Nissan Sunderland test track have disappeared? Now I don't believe they have all suddenly been sold.  I would guess they may have been taken away and recycled to make room for the next vast production run.

Indeed next to that test track and adjacent to the Nissan factory, they are collating again as shown on the Google Maps image below.  So where did the last lot go? This is not an employees car park by the way.

None of the images on this webpage are of ordinary car parks at shopping malls, football matches etc.  Trust me, they are just mountains and mountains of brand spanking new unsold cars. There is no real reason why you should be driving an old clunker now is there?

The car industry cannot stop making new cars because they would have to close their factories and lay off tens of thousands of employees.  This would further add to the recession.  Also the domino effect would be catastrophic as steel manufactures would not sell their steel. All the tens of thousands of places where car components are made would also be effected, indeed the world could come to a grinding halt.

Below is shown just a small area of a gigantic car park  in Spain where tens of thousands of cars just sit and sunbathe all day.

They are also piling up at the port of Valencia in Spain as seen below.  They are either waiting to be exported to...nowhere or have been imported...to go nowhere.

Tens of thousands of cars are still being made every week but hardly any of them are being sold.  Nearly every household in developed countries already has a car or even two or three cars parked up on their driveway as it is.

Below is an image of thousands upon thousands of unsold cars parked up on a runway near St Petersburg in Russia.  They are all imported from Europe, they are all then parked up and they are all then left to rot. Consequently, the airport is now unusable for its original purpose.

The cycle of buying, using, buying using has been broken, it is now just a case of "using" with no buying. Below is an image of thousands of unsold cars parked up on an disused runway at Upper Heyford, Bicester, Oxfordshire. They are seriously running out of space to store these cars.

It is a sorry state of affairs and there is no answer to it, solutions don't exist.  So the cars just keep on being manufactured and keep on adding to the millions of unsold cars already sitting redundant around the world.

Below are parked tens of thousands of cars at Royal Portbury Docks, Avonmouth, near Bristol in the United Kingdom. If you look on Google Maps and scan around the area at say 200ft you will see nothing but parked up unsold cars. They are absolutley everywhere in that area practically every open space has unsold cars parked up on it.

Below is that same area in Avonmouth, UK, but zoomed out. Every gray space that you see is filled with unsold cars.  Anyone want to hazard a guess at how many are there...

As it is, there are more cars than there are people on the planet with an estimated 10 billion roadworthy cars in the world today.

We literally cannot make enough of them. Below are seen just a few of the thousands of Citroen's parked up at Corby, Northamptonshire in England. They are being added to daily, imported from France but with nowhere else to go once they arrive.

So there they sit, brand spanking new cars, all with a couple of miles on the clock that was consummate with them being driven to their car parks.  Below is the latest May 2014 Google Maps image of unsold cars in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Manufacturing more cars than can be sold is against all logic, logistics and economics but it continues day after day, week after week, month after month, year in year out.

Below is shown a recent (April 2014) screen grab from Google Maps of the Italian port of Civitavecchia.  All those little specks are a few thousand brand new unsold Peugeots.  Just collecting dust and maybe a bit of salty sea spray!

Below, all nice and shiny but with nowhere to go.  Red and white and black and silver, purple, pink and blue, all the colors of the rainbow and be they all brand new.  Indeed all the colors of the rainbow are down there on those cars, making pretty mosaics, montages of color and still life.  Maybe that is all they will now ever be, surreal urban art of the techno production age.  Magnificent metal boxes, wasting space and saving grace, all sitting still, because its business at mill.

All around the world these cars just keep on piling up, there is no end in sight.  The economy shouts out quite loud that nobody has the money anymore to spend on a new car. The reason being that they are making their "old" cars go on a lot longer.  But we cannot stop making them, soon we will run out of space to park them.  We are nearly running out of space to drive them that's for sure!

Below, more cars mount up in the port of Valencia in Spain. They will not be exported as there is nowhere for them to go, so they just sit and rot in their colorful droves.

Gone are the days when the family would have a new car every year, they are now keeping what they have got.  It may be fair to say that some  families still get a new car every year but its the majority that now do not.

The results are in these images, hundreds of thousands if not millions of cars around the world are driven from their factories, parked up and left.

Could we say that these cars have been left to rot!  Maybe, as these cars will certainly rot if they are not bought, driven and cared for.  It does not look like they will be sold any day soon, many of them have been standing for over 12 months or even longer and this is detrimental to the car.

Below, as far as the eye can see, right into the background, cars, cars and more cars. But what's beyond the horizon?  Have a guess...Yes that's right...even more cars!  All brand new but with no homes to go to.  Do you think they will ever start giving them away, that may be the only radical solution.  Who knows, you could soon be getting a free car with every packet of cornflakes.

When a car is left standing idle, all the oil sinks to the bottom of the sump, and then corrosion begins to set in on all the internal engine parts where the oil has drained away.

Cold corrosion is when condensation builds up in the cylinders and rust forms in the bores. The engines would then start to seize and would need to be professionally freed before they could be started.  Also the tires start to lose air and the batteries start to go flat, indeed the detrimental list goes on and on.

So the longer they sit there the worse it slowly becomes for them.  What is the answer to this?  Well they need to be sold and that just isn't happening.

The epidemic is not improving, it is getting worse.  Car manufactureres are constantly coming out with new models with the latest technology in them.  Hence prospective buyers of, for example, a new Citroen Xsara Picasso want the latest model, not last years model.  Hence all the unsold Citroen Xsara Picasso cars from the previous year will now have even lesser chance of being sold.

The problems then just keep on mounting up.  In the end, the unsold cars that are say 2 years old will have no alternative but to be either crushed up, dismantled and/or their parts recycled.

Some car manufacturers moved their production over to China, General Motors and Cadillac are examples of this.  They are then shipped over in containers and unloaded at ports.  However they are now being told to put a big halt in their import into the U.S.A. as they just can't sell them in the quantities they would desire.  Consequently Chinese car parks are now filling up with brand new American cars.  Well nobody in China can afford them on their meagre pittance wages, so there they will stay until our economy improves...which it might do in a few generations.

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Patriot Eke's picture

But hey... GDP is positive! har har  Who wants to bet the government is paying for this?  I bet the manufacturers write those off as losses to avoid taxes at the least.

SilverIsKing's picture

Actually, if they just tint the windows, these car parks can be transformed into the neighborhoods of the future. Like trailer parks with a little less space per family.

MeMadMax's picture

What's up with the stupid bandwidth BULLSHIT????




Maybe they should switch to a different automotive selling model.


Like, instead of serially selling a new, crappy car model every year, sell a new, better engineered model every two/three years or so. That way, the engineers can relax a little and concentrate on making something good instead of freakin recycling the same shit over and over again because they don't have time to engineer something good...

zerozulu's picture

Only bankers are supposed to relax. Every body else, work work and work.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

"Like, instead of serially selling a new, crappy car model every year, sell a new, better engineered model every two/three years or so."

Well, everything is built like shit now, not just cars.  Toasters, coffee machines, copper pipe, water heaters......everything you buy in Wal-Mart.......its all built to FAIL.  Talk about a Keynesian wet dream!!  If something lasts half as long, it really costs TWICE AS MUCH!!  I bet the CPI doesn't take that into account, does it!!

old naughty's picture

ghost cars to match ghost cities...

now all we need are the ghosts, no?

No Quarter's picture

There'll be plenty of ghosts for those ghost cars and cities when this shithouse goes up in flames. 

StychoKiller's picture

I admit it, I'm to blame, I'm still driving my 1990 Dodge Dakota pickup.  Guess I'll have to go out and buy a thousand or so new cars for atonement.

mrdenis's picture

I've got a 2000 Dodge PU... leftover purchased one week before 9/11 even got a 2K rebate .... 95K runs better every year ....I guess they built them too well .

Antifaschistische's picture

remember when cars were fun?  when did your own maintenance?  when a car was 1/2 car 1/2 hobby?  When it wasn't so freakin complicated you needed computers to figure out what was wrong with it?   When it wasn't so full of expensive BS crap!!

remember when you back into the cars behind you in the parking lot and bumped them and that's how you knew you couldn't go back any farther....with ZERO damage to either vehicle thanks to 3/16th formed plate steel and a great coat of chrome!   Now....$1,500.   

Remember when a headlight ws $14 at the auto parts place and you replaced it yourself in 4 minutes?  Holy Crap, it took my mechanic 45 minutes to replace my headlight...oh, and I found a used one on ebay for $500!!!!  What the hell!!!!   I'm sick of this!!!  

Buying a nice car today is like buying a huge liability!!...and I can afford any car I want.  but I still refuse.  Sorry need a new side view mirror!!  $500.   Need a new wheel!!  $800.   electric motor for your stupid rear window wiper!!   FREAKING RIP OFF.

What you're seeing parked in these lots is a consumer rebellion!!   A rebellion that says this crap has gotten way too expensive.

Seriously...a "SMART" car ought to cost about $6,000.  And they should figure out how to change the entire engine out in 30 minutes like an old Volkswagon.

Dig out the freaking engineering documents of the 1968 mustang and make the exact same car today.  The exact same car....and see if it sits around on a runway waiting for someone to buy it.   No frills, no electric windows, no seat heater, no CD/DVD, movie crap to plug a nintendo into.   Just the exact same car.  

zerozulu's picture

another cash for clunker in the making.

daveO's picture

I recently read that the average used car price is now $17,000. Cash for Clunkers, part 2, ought to get that price over $20K! 

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

In the UK some dealerships are selling cars with no mileage on the clock as second hand cars, you can get up to 40% off the list price. They buy the cars themselves, register them so they can be sold on for a big discount. It's a numbers game for the dealership they get a bonus from the manufacturer for shifting units.

No Quarter's picture

Yeah, and the govermnment gets all of those registrations fees 1.6x on a single new car. 

thecoloredsky's picture

maybe if they try hard enough, the used car price will surpass the new car price.

Seahorse's picture

Everyone clicked that cars are now tax-collecting trojans. 

tarsubil's picture

No one buys cars with money anymore. That's what mortgages are for.

Antifaschistische's picture

How much of this, can be attributed in part to accounting rules, which allow the manufacturers to keep these "on the books" undepreciated? 

I'm not familiar enough with the accounting rules.  Are they forced to depreciate?   If they are not, that explains a lot.   They would be incentivized to sell at discounts before taking the depreciation hit.

PT's picture


Don't they just lower the price on the cars so they can sell them?  No?  I didn't learn about that in economics class.
The govt can bail out the manufacturers but they can't bail out the buyers?  Whoops, I forgot about "cash for clunkers" (maybe because it happened to you guys - it didn't happen in my country).  Sounds like they didn't offer enough cash.  Or maybe there weren't enough clunkers.

So forget about your bullshit capitalist / communist arguments for a minute and look at what is there.  The cars have been built.  They're sitting there.  You gonna let them rust away because of some bullshit idealism?  "Oh, I can't accept being enriched by communism.  I have to stay a true, loyal slave to capitalism BUT I AM allowed to whinge about the "crony capitalists" taking advantage of their self-created communism!" 

Because it is really important for the slaves to work really hard and never enjoy the fruits of their labour, even while that fruit rusts away in car parks all over the world.

We build houses that no-one can afford to buy.  We build cars that no-one can afford to buy.  WE BUILT THE FUCKING THINGS!  THAT MEANS WE CAN "AFFORD" IT!  Oh, that means everyone has to do without because the price stickers on those cars don't match the pieces of paper in people's pockets.  Well, to me that tells me that the pieces of paper are lying.

When a tax-payer bails out a company and puts it on life support, you whinge that it is "communism".  Except it is not.  Because they didn't follow through.  It is only half-communism - which = theft.  The other half of communism - which EVERYONE conveniently forgets about - is distribution.  Your tax dollars paid for it?  Then you OWN A PART OF IT.  (Am I still talking about "communism"?  I've lost track and I don't care.  The labels just get in the way.  Are you going to argue that you don't own something that you paid for? )

Money itself, I don't care how others define it, is supposed to be proof that you did someone a favour and as such, are entitled to a proportionate favour from the rest of society BECAUSE YOU EARNT IT.  You paid your way.  300 million people, you did one 300 millionth of the production, you're entitled to one 300 millionth of the output.  Yes, go ahead and re-jigger it for hourly rates and level of skill and so forth, but when houses and cars remain empty while millions slave away for fuck-all in return,just so a bunch of shitheads can keep their undeserved wealth artificially high, THAT is a crime against humanity.  Not as bad as wearing a land-mine,  but still a cause of massive suffering.  Reminds me of some of the scenes near the end of Animal Farm where the animals discover the wealth that the pigs have been hiding.

Hmmm, not one of my better rants - a bit disjointed, but you should get the idea. 


nope-1004's picture

Throw Greenspan, Bernanke, and Mr. Yellen in jail.  I'll visit them, no worries.  Wouldn't want them to be lonely or anything.


onthesquare's picture

jail is intended to rehabilitate.  These assholes are damaged bejond repair.  They should have been parked in a field and forgotten about at birth.

PT's picture

Rehabilitation?  Now you got me thinking of this:


( You won't get it if you haven't seen the movie.  "Idiocracy" )

Eastwood Ravine's picture

That's an incredibly salient point. Taxpayers have bailed out the auto industry more than once, so where is the voucher for a shiney new car or truck?

mkkby's picture

Smart car companies will put a recycling plant right next to their assembly plant.  Out one door comes a shiny new car.  Out the next door comes scrap metal.  Krugman would be proud.

walküre's picture

You make perfect sense. The labels are standing in the way of understanding and resolving the problems we're faced with. The statists are not interested in solving anything as long as they keep their status quo with benefits.

You are absolutely right. The few shitheads at the top are piling up all the while the masses down below keep running the rat race for the crumbs.

Keep up the good work. I like your style.

onthesquare's picture

The problem comes from too many people wanting jobs and making a living.  Those days are over. 

Most cars are built by robots, mechanical robots, not flesh and blood robots.  Keep feeding the giant machine and we can turn out a car every minute.  1440 per day.  So says the factory man.  GM builds Suzuki's, Masda builds Fords, Mitsubishi builds Dodges, and so on.  They are all the same product. 

Most people do not own a car long enough to know how to operate the curise control or set the clock.  When you tell them that as soon as you pull that car off the lot its value goes down 25% plus and continues to dive, but they do not care because they have to get to work.

We have to understand the mentality of humans.  Most of us are short sighted and lead around by our peckers.  A new car or truck is an extension of our sex drive as are most things marketed these days.

If you build it they will buy it is over.

No Quarter's picture

Interestingly, if you read the Auto sales and service trade journals, the next generation of car buyer on average, has no real interest in buying a car. The sex apeal for these kids is a shiny new Macbook Air or Iphone 5S. These kids are just as happy to ride a bus or share rides with a friend who does have a car. Of the ones who do buy a car, their top questions are 1) what does it do? ie- does it have built in wi-fi, apps, music tagging etc and 2) How fuel efficient is it.

These kids on average, don't care what it looks like, how fast it goes, status symbol (unless its a hybrid/electric car that fits into the environmental culture), or any of the other reasons we have traditionally bought cars. Gonna make it even tougher for the auto manufactures to keep this glut manufacturing going.


mrdenis's picture

PT..... better said than most ......

Liberty2012's picture

Yes PT I get the rant :)

Shorter version
- money is work traded for work
- there will be a re-ordering of relative value
- a rose is a rosé by any other name (central planning = slavery)

Hang in there. The vast majority are decent people who help when they can.

Truth => Individual => Responsibility => Freedom

dangerdog's picture

uh...dumbass....the article is just a bunch of lies and half truths...do your research and save your rants for when you find a real injustice...think how great that will feel.

PT's picture

Peak "prosperity that is hoarded away where no-one can touch it".

Supafly's picture

What if my car takes a ride without my permission?  Do I still have to pay the toll?

onthesquare's picture

Car manufacturers need to engineer in obsolesense so the cars fall apart sooner.  Life expectancy of a vehicle should only be a few months.  This is rediculous; having a car last more than a year!


metastar's picture

Ghost cities require ghost autos. War will provide the ghosts.

Ignatius's picture

When you can be seen from space you know you've 'made it'.

Joe Davola's picture

And GM pays people not to work, so it all evens out!

theliberalliberal's picture

and one down arrow from the guy that needs to be fucked.

lamest attention whore ever that guy


he should pray to god to be less lame



Mareka's picture

I recently bought 2 used cars for my kids to drive and the prices are higher than I have ever seen them.

New car prices are high and the incentives are pathetic. 

So how does this correct?  Dump the new ones in the ocean to keep the prices up? 

Like building pyramids to keep the workforce busy.  Broken window theory on steroids.

logicalman's picture

Cars have just become debt producers and tax collectors.

I was lucky to get to drive in the early 70s when it was still fun.

Gave up cars a few years ago, based on cost/benefit ratio.


Slave's picture

What a fucking monumental waste.

holdbuysell's picture

Yeah, it is.

Forget misallocation of capital, this is a serious misallocation of energy, which is getting more expensive every day.

This is just another data point that supports the trend of serious deflation followed by hyperinflation and impoverishment as true demand collapes relative to supply, yet financial instruments demand continual growth.

The big print is still to come.

max2205's picture

I guess the accounting rules have been suspended for car makers......that's good revenue don't you think? 

Mareka's picture

I am willing to park 4 in my driveway for free.

PT's picture

We need names and addresses.  Those car parks look awfully full.  It must be terribly stressful and expensive to have all them cars sitting on prime land.  I want to find out if I can offer them "storage services", for a small fee of course.  And I'll promise to "test the engine and other systems" (nudge-nudge, wink-wink) you know - so the rubbers don't deteriorate - regularly but the company will have to pay for minor maintenance every now and then - just to keep the cars in tip-top condition of course...