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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walküre's picture

The manufacturers aren't interested in maintaining the cars. Heck, they may not even be interested in finding buyers for the units.

Deterioration is not a balance sheet issue for these new cars. They're on the balance sheets as produced, value added and allow the manufacturers to issue more and more bonds and seek more and more funding to keep running the gig.

I don't think there's an example like this anywhere in history. This is stupid in a class of its own.

StychoKiller's picture

Methinks and enterprising chap could print out temporary license stickers, throw a gallon or two of gas in one of those cars and drive it away for free.  ain't no way someone is paying a watchman for all of those cars.

Matt's picture

I'm sure they are all tracked and immobilized via OnStar.

Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

i believe von mises made a point about credit expansion & lowering interest rates below the natural rate of interest. something about the misallocation of resources. i cant remember because im busy thinking of how many of those cars im going to steal when SHTF.

Stackers's picture

Some of those pics are disingenuous. That Sheerness facility is a Roll-On Roll-Off ocean shipping terminal. It is very common for thousands of cars and vehicles to be pre-staged on those lots all the time.

Go to Google Maps, in Houston - I-610 and the ship channel bridge on east side of downtown. thousands upon thousands of cars. It has looked like that every time I drive by for the last 20+ years. They come on and off by the train and boat full.


A lot of those other pics are from 2009 .....

Son of Loki's picture

Now lets see, where did I park that baby?

disabledvet's picture

Yeah that would suck. "I bought the red one with 4 banger and steel gray interior." HOLD ON! I THINK I FOUND IT!

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Here's the CSX Railroad vehicle unloading and storage facility in Jessup, Maryland. There's some empty lots shown when the Google shot was taken. They handle mostly Ford and GM vehicles. (Click Satellite View)

In better years, these lots were completely full. The incoming cars had to be taken to other facilities because the rail cars have to be unloaded no matter what or surcharges are levied.


Harriet Wanger's picture

... and Google Maps might not change their pics for years, so it's no indication that the cars are still there.

New World Chaos's picture

At some point, Government Motors and other companies will lobby to have the govt. buy the cars off them at full price.  The government will then give them to the FSA or maybe scrap them.  Can't sell a new car that's two years old, it's unsafe, please think of the children. 

The puppetmasters need to keep the whole planet on a treadmill to oblivion, slowly digesting all the Earth's resources and turning them into mountains of crap.  An economy based on artificial scarcity has more levers for elitist social control than an economy based on natural abundance.  It is also essential that the people dump their "cognitive surplus" (as the Rockefellers would call it).  Keep the people miseducated, keep them so busy on the hampster wheel that they have no time to think about why things are so fucked up.  Run them ragged with endless stupid shit.  When they get home, they will just want to zonk out in front of reality TV instead of working on a long term escape plan.

AUD's picture

If the premise of this article is correct then the motor companies must be already effectively selling the cars to government through bailouts, subsidies, tax breaks etc etc. How else can the motor companies not already have gone under?

logicalman's picture

I think you might be onto something here..

If the banks can do it, why not the auto industry?

fallout11's picture

When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Car manufacturers cannot stop making cars, or they fold. So bankster money papers 'em over, paying to build windows to smash, keynesianism at its finest.
That which cannot go on forever will not. 

TahoeBilly2012's picture

I am trying to buy one of these, a Ford Transit Van (made in Europe) for my business, which is booming, okay it hasn't always been...and with my 665 credit score, the Jew computers in NY won't even qualify me with $5K down! If they can't sell me one of the tin cans, they are FUCKED!

Bloody Muppet's picture

Same pictures, just a different author. This article is rubbish, those cars are waiting for import/export and have already been sold to the dealerships.

monoloco's picture

Time for another cash for clunkers program.

wrong way's picture

... except, uhm.. these pictures *ARE* from 2009! 

Google is your friend 

If you use Chrome... RightMouse over picture -> search Google for this image. You will find lots of hits, unfortunately for this article they point to pictures from 2009. 

Here is one...  http://www.jtirregulars.com/2009/02/and-we-thought-only-detroit-built-mo...

Tyler(s), C'mon man! You can do better than recyling this crap. 


wrong way's picture

... except, uhm.. these pictures *ARE* from 2009! 

Google is your friend 

If you use Chrome... RightMouse over picture -> search Google for this image. You will find lots of hits, unfortunately for this article they point to pictures from 2009. 

Here is one...  http://www.jtirregulars.com/2009/02/and-we-thought-only-detroit-built-mo...

Tyler(s), C'mon man! You can do better than recyling this crap. 


philipat's picture

Of course, if we had normal accounting standards (Remember GAAP.....HAhhahahah) these cars would be treated as a downward adjustment to sales, because they have already been booked as sales when shipped to dealers, which would then encourage the most sensible solution: PRODUCE LESS, because the sales line takes a hit either way so at least save cost and produce less. Yet another example of how central planning distorts everything and results in the misallocation of capital.

ebear's picture

Grand Theft Bandwidth!

Leveraged Algorithm's picture

This is fucking unbelievable - sometimes I feel on a virgin on ZH....

Borrow Owl's picture


You can feel on a virgin on ZH?

How do I access this feature?


Bloody Muppet's picture

Grope yourself?


Sorry, couldn't help it.

kito's picture

Tyler should at least give fonz a h/t for posting this same article. Tyler, start giving your commenters credit where credit is due

NoDebt's picture

If Fonz isn't one of the Tylers already, maybe they should offer him a job.

kito's picture

Fonz pulls up alot of stuff that tyler subsequently uses. Either tyler is skanking fonz or fonz is a tyler who field tests for zh....

Fíréan's picture

See photo 1 of 13 , titled : "Nissan has announced plans to cut its Sunderland workforce by 1,200. Thousands of unsold cars are stored around the factory's test track"


 above article is dated  Friday 16 January 2009 15.22 GMT

Same photo posted at website quoted here at ZeroHedge, may 2014


UPDATE: Currently May 16th, 2014, all of these cars at the Nissan Sunderland test track have disappeared?


Well, they've had five years to clear it !


how many more of these photos are recycled from a Guardian story of five years ago ?






Bloody Muppet's picture

All the same photos, just different authors.

Crawdaddy's picture

I guess I can't bitch too much since I'm using my neighbor's wireless at the moment. He has better connectivtiy when i am in my backyard. Plus, its funny he'll be the one to get NSA logged for googlin big boobies. It is funny, not because he is 88, it is because he doesn't know what google is.

tempo's picture

EBT means no food lines. Student aid hides the youth unemployment. Ca has lowest unemployment rate in 8 years since we ignore those who drop out of the market and live off entitlements. Hide all problems.

nasdaq99's picture

sorry, but the writer is incapable of comprehending the scale of the auto biz.  this happens at every single port in the world.  grow up.

JLee2027's picture

Run a lottery, 5-20 bucks a ticket, whatever, geez. That'll move them real quick.

doctor10's picture

this would answer the question.


It would appear that since 2008 people are driving abt 2/3rds less.  My own driving miles per yr are down 50% from then

snodgrass's picture

Solution! Just like Obamaphones - give them away to the poor for free along with their Obamacare. They can double as cheap housing.

Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

I guess no body will notice if they missing a car or two in one of those giant parking lot.

Terminus C's picture

Wow, none of those images worked...

Big sign on each one that says:


Don not hotlink images and steal bandwidth...

Wondering if that is just me.

Tinky's picture

Yes, it's just you. I'd advise replacing your Commodore 300 modem.

Antarctico's picture

Yes, it's just you. I'd advise replacing your Commodore 300 modem.

All pics look good on my Kaypro 4!

NidStyles's picture

Both of you quit it, I am feeling old reading those posts..

unwashedmass's picture


here's what's going on in baltimore. stunning. 


Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Actually, that's not very crowded at all. I've seen these lots completely full in the past as well as the CSX lots in nearby Jessup. These are cars offloaded from a RORO ship waiting to be loaded onto a railcar or over-the-road car carrier. The Baltimore GM plant was dismantled years ago so there's no other reason for them to be at this location.

navy62802's picture

WTF is up with the "WARNING, DO NOT HOTLINK IMAGES AND STEAL BANDWIDTH?" Looks very strange.

And what is altlab.com?

Urban Roman's picture




Domain Name: ALTLAB.COM
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Registrar URL: www.enom.com
Updated Date:
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Registrar: ENOM, INC.
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Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4252744500
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
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... etc. etc. etc.

nmewn's picture

Well look at it this way, if no ones driving them, GM has less liability for any deaths resulting from their production!

Keynes would be so proud, push that demand baby...lol.

DerdyBulls's picture

They would anyway since the union owns them now. Torts don't apply to government institutions.

Son of Loki's picture

Didn't GM recall half of these b/c of that "Delayed Death" feature when you turn on the ignition and disable all the air bags?