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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813kml's picture

I think the obvious solution is to add more monster truck rallies to the schedule of bread and circus.  Nothing like watching Truckasaurus chow down on thousands of GM's (undrivable) finest to swell American patriotism.  And of course Insane Clown Posse will open every show by playing the national anthem with a bald eagle, ala Jimi Hendrix.

This Idiocracy needs to step things up a notch, I'm getting bored.

lead salad's picture

They will just melt them down and make drones and other weapons of war when the SHTF....so in reality, GM still has death on their hands!

Dorelei's picture

Shit I tought it was a russian nuclear missile alert ...

lakecity55's picture

Me 2. I thought the intertubes wuz going down like Backdoor Barry!

ebworthen's picture

All I see is "Do not hotlink images and steal bandwidth" here on ZH and on the linked page.

Has someone been punked?

I want 120 months at 0%.

nmewn's picture

They want you to do it youself, google maps, sheerness england...big ass parking lot next to the river (right side of river, sw of sheerness.

Don't know if this will work...


...left of Brielle Way...

...yeppers, it worked.

lakecity55's picture

THANKS for the link!


nmewn's picture

Yeah man, I guess the Tylers didn't want everyone going in through them and crashing the site...(altlab).

jon dough's picture

Is it me or am I really not seeing a lot of rear windows on these vehicles? Are we looking at a bazillion minivans or sumthin?

nmewn's picture

lol...I dunno...maybe a new level of hedonics, where the factory blows out the back windows testing a new stereo system. To be replaced at the dealership, pre-warranty.

These central planner-types have it all figgered out ;-)

mrdenis's picture

Brokew window economics ,put to the  test .....

nmewn's picture

There ya go, at some point there is an over abundance of windows. Especially when they pass laws, hire and arm storm troopers to prevent them from being broken. Its like the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

Or maybe their real object was more storm troopers ;-)

Whatta's picture

Aw, man, that's just the parking lot at a Cowboys game.

And does De Beers run the auto industry too, keeping cars off the mkt to keep prices jacked?

Angus McHugepenis's picture

nmewn: This is incredible in its scope of over manufacturing. They'll have to sell the previous model year at huge discounts or just crush the fucking things back to workable material. No consumer in their right mind would pay ANYTHING for the shit on these lots. Fuck, am I missing something? This is so fucking retarded on so many levels.

ebworthen's picture

Ah...pictures visible now.

That's a shit-ton of cars, not just a staging area - a long term inventory parking lot.

Reminds me of all the people now not being counted as unemployed; sitting at home rotting.

nmewn's picture

Yeah, I see em now too.

So I guess the world isn't gonna starve afterall, thats a lot of "green space" they're taking up in some of them...lol.

Wahooo's picture

Sorry Janet, you can fuck up ZH all you want, but we're still rooting for Putin.

NidStyles's picture

I'm rooting for myself, fuck Putin that statist thug.

ebear's picture


The Might Vladimir

Vladimir, hero of song and story. 
Vladimir, winner of territory. 
Frightening the Right, 
Fighting Nazi blight, 
With the strength of ten, Ukrainian men. 

Vladimir, Russians are safe when near him. 
Vladimir, only Right Sector fears him. 
Penetrating eyes, 
Iron in his thighs, 
Nationalist at heart, 
Fire in every part, 
Of the Mighty Vladimir.

medium giraffe's picture

Why the radium symbol?, you're harshing my mellow, it's just some vids guy.

Crawdaddy's picture

Author furiously downloading/rehosting images now.....

Xanadu_doo's picture

click the link above image #1 (http://www.vincelewis.net/unsoldcars.html) -- images are still up there -- crazy wild amazing shit.

And I just spent about $2k to repair my old jeep, which I paid just over $2k for in the first place!



I'd still MUCH rather stack than give a new car maker (esp GM) my fucking FRNs.

unwashedmass's picture


to say nothing of having to pay all the sales taxes, excise taxes, and registration fees. Fuck 'em. my car is seven years old and going like a horse...also gets 36 to the gallon.......god i love my mini cooper.

acidradio's picture

Didn't George W. Bush, shortly after 9/11, tell everyone to "go shopping"? That buying more stuff would strengthen the nation? Well it looks like a number of people didn't buy into that. Or rather couldn't; who can get credit for anything anymore? Maybe people like George can just walk in and cut a check for a new car, but the average consumer can't. And he and his cronies sure got the auto makers wound up, they all really though it would work! Um yeah.

Also, the automakers seem to be a victim of their own success. The average car seems to last longer nowadays. I've got a 10 yr old car and it's in fantastic shape. With some modest maintenance I see it going, oh, another 10 yrs!

Then Cash-4-Clunkers came around. Oh boy. Let's get old 12MPG gas guzzlers off the road and replace them with... new 14MPG gas guzzlers! That 2MPG really makes a difference! Or something.

BrosephStiglitz's picture

Same old bullshit rhetoric spewing out of politicians mouths:  "ZOMG Stawx down.  Consumers of the globe, unite and spend more!"  

Unfortunately the consumers have tapped out and they got a raw deal.  Heaps of debt.  Minimal savings. People will be working from day to day for a loaf of bread within two decades.  This kind of asymmetric, one-way trade between consumption and production has gone on long enough.  If these fuckers want to boost their earnings, maybe they should spend more for a change.


NidStyles's picture

Maybe they should produce something worth owning first. Haven't seen a decent car in almost 15 years now. 

BrosephStiglitz's picture

Yup.  This is "free-market capitalism" at its finest.  Thank god for people like Piketty, who not only completely fail to grasp just what the market mechanism is, but assume that somehow MORE centralisation is what is needed.

What is needed is the gargantuan government presence to step the fuck back, remove subsidies on everything aside from the most basic of human necessities and let these monstrous, stagnating and overproductive businesses fall.  Just let the people with a clue actually source legit markets, let capital find its allocation in genuinely intelligent and value-adding applications. 

This level of capital misallocation is a massive, massive waste.

Crawdaddy's picture

Syria...Iran....um we meant Ukraine

unwashedmass's picture


use google maps. 

jaw dropping. 



zerozulu's picture

No, this is shipping doc for loading and unloading cars. Not a Parking lot for unsold cars. good effort but

The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

Take a look at dealer lots around you dude, they are already full up.  Of course there are loading docks for vehicles, but this goes well beyond loading and unloading.

This reminds me of 2008 when Goldman was saying that oil was going to go from $150 to $250.  At the same time there were stories about oil tankers parked at sea all over the world filled with oil and nowhere to go.  Oil went to $40 briefly thereafter.  

flyingcaveman's picture

Looks like must of them have a couple of ships worth of backlog and world shipping is down globally for lack of demand http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/why-is-global-shipping-slowi...


This isn't even counting the ones on railcars getting shipped back and forth all over north america until they find a home.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Nobody in their right mind ships cars by rail unless they have somebody to sign for them at the destination. A lot of the rail car transports are privately owned and are leased to the railroads. It gets expensive, so automobiles don't tour the country by rail looking for a home.

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

You're right zerozulu but you're wasting your time trying to explain that this is a port and the only reason the cars are there is because they have been offloaded from a ship and are waiting to be shipped out. The parking areas are mostly empty at any rate so it's hardly "jaw dropping". I used to work there but what do I know?

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

ZeroHedge ... where broken hot-links go to die.

Eahudimac's picture

I have a gut feeling my tax dollars are making this happen.

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

With this type of shit going on, WHO can EVER believe that there WILL ever BE a solution to our PROBLEMS.....This is wrong on so many levels it is mind-boggling....

nmewn's picture

Want another level?

At this rate, if GM keeps on killing people with "their product" the fines alone will cut the deficit by billions (good right?) course its all accounting gimmickry, the bailout money came (supposedly) from the very people they killed & their families, which it did not.

If the economy wasn't in a "ctr-alt-print exclusive" enviroment, they would be dead, the bonuses, the company, the chicanary.

Sorry bout that, its Friday, I need to lighten up ;-)

The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

This is outright fraud at a minimum.  Execs at car companies are sitting around shitting themselves because they know demand is cratering.  Oh, but wait, stock options don't vest for another 3 months.  Gotta keep it going, spit out the cars, stack em on top of each other if you have to!!!

...the gig CANNOT be up until the options vest!!!


nmewn's picture

You're absolutely correct. Its all part of "tax law"...when they vest, its at 15%...on hundreds of thousands of "dollars"...which is really just counterfeiting stock (just like counterfeiting money) screwing their "long term shareholders" that they love to stroke by saying "Looking out for the shareholder."


Now, maybe people will understand why I'm down on "law" in general, the "law" is what lawgivers say it is, not what it is supposed to be, just & fair, to all.

Let it burn.

seek's picture

It depends on the car company. The very high end brands are seeing record sales, not just in the US, but China and India as well.

For US manufacturers, yeah. Everything I'm seeing in the numbers I look as says we're in the middle of 2008 2.0 happening at this very moment.

This is one fucked up depression.

Kreditanstalt's picture

Just like booksellers.   They make such an astronomical profit on ONE sold new book at list price that they can afford to ditch dozens of unsold copies to maintain the fake value.

If they really wanted to sell all of them, they'd put them on discount and the prices would PLUNGE.  Cost of production must be near-zero so they can junk them.

Extend-and-pretend is everywhere...!

Then I get the discards, new-from-the-shelves, in the Salvation Army thrift shop at 50 cents or $1 each.


mrpxsytin's picture

Soon it will cost more to build and deploy an IED than it costs to buy the secondhand civilian grade pickup truck that said IED blows up. Ofcourse, you still have the loss of life, but it appears that human life is the cheapest commodity of all. 

Watch for a shift from IEDs to truck bombs.