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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
dizzyfingers's picture

Going to have my used '99 Ford150 pickup buried with me, no more new cars. No real estate  either, never will give any more public-pensioned workers access to my money. Each of those cars corresponds to an empty unsold house somewhere in the world. Eat sxxt and die vampire bankers. If you're stupid enough to keep on manufacturing you deserve your fate.

Kprime's picture

my last purchase ever 2000 F150.  I have cut my driving down to 1K miles per year.

ZeroPoint's picture

Supply side economics gone mad. I hope someday capitalism returns to America.

PT's picture

In the mean time, those cars have been built.  They should be driven.  Those cars shouldn't be put on hold just to await the return of capitalism.

Actually, with a few, well thought-out phone calls, some enterprising capitalist might be able to organize shipping some of the newer models out the back door of the scrap yard, if you know what I mean - a more realistic version of the comment I made earlier about "storing a car or two at my place". 

allgoodmen's picture

That law already exists, the precedent being set by the Obamacare Supreme Court decision.

You will be required to purchase one or the IRS will impose penalties. There will be a spectrum of subsidies indexed to income, meaning the FSA will all get one free, while you will have to pay out the ass.

patb's picture

Aren't most of these pictures from 2009?



BeetleBailey's picture

As the piece said - do your own looking.

I am as I type this.

Google Earth time stamps/the imagery date in the view I'm looking at as 7/18/13 - so unless this is Patton's fictitious army in MaidenfuckingHead  - this is a solid post.

From what I see....it's Car-a-Palooza

Village-idiot's picture

Most Baby-Boom retirees, like me, refuse to take on ANY debt.

I sure don't need a new vehicle. I drive my 21 year old van about twice a month; that way it should last for a while yet.

Westcoastliberal's picture

Last time I remember anything close to this was when Ford was selling their "Ford 500" (which was the replacement for the Crown Vic) at half-price.  New 2005 cars with a sticker of $30k or so offered in early 2007 for $15k and some change.  Brand new, not demos. 

I'll bet we'll see something similar now, plus all the off-lease 2011's and 2012's are going to be worth-less!

JackT's picture

Legislation should be passed giving these manufacturers carbon credits for saving mankind from the carbon these unused cars are not producing

DeusHedge's picture

I would work for one of these cars...

dizzyfingers's picture

DeusHedge  Wait a while, they might pay you to haul it away.

Senor Science's picture

Why is the glass alway half empty? There is plenty of room to park more cars.

PT's picture

Yeah, like, for instance, at my place.  Just gimme the keys...

Kprime's picture

Has anyone seen this 10 yr chart on annual (or monthly if selected) gasoline sales by day??? 


Stunning.  1984 through 2004 about 60K per day.  Now approaching 20K per day.


CrashisOptimistic's picture

Bogus chart.  Unintentionally.

It's 100% accurate, and means nothing.  Those are sales from retail outlets owned by refiners.

Refiners began divesting their retail outlets in . . . yup, 2006.  They sold them to independent outlets, whose sales are not on that chart.

So that chart does not speak to decline in US gasoline consumption -- though that parameter HAS declined.

UncleSparky's picture

And diesel didn't take up the slack either.

Seize Mars's picture

EPIC waste. If anyone doesn't understand or doesn't believe Rothbard, VonMises et al., this is your data, bitchez.

EPIC malinvestment.

Fíréan's picture

Precisely. It's bullsht. The premise of the story may be valid, but the most of these photos used for this article are  recycled from 2009.


Iterative journalism ?

andrewp111's picture

Yes. Most of the images on Google Maps are several years old.

Wahooo's picture

Aww, you ruined my Saturday morning. How I have to live with knowing that the global economy is fine and my attitude about it is wrong.

Riprake's picture

So does this:


Seeing all the high ratings it got here tells me everything I need to know about the kind of ratings Stormfronters on here get from their butt buddies for every anti-semitic "ZOG CONTROLS EVERYTHING AND JEWS DID 9/11" retard rant.

Atomizer's picture

People like myself will hold onto paid off cars/SUVs from 2008-10. My next purchase will be an old M5 v-10 or 4.8 twin turbo. In today’s market,  there is always a muppet who couldn’t afford the car. I only require black with black interior.



 Mrs. Atomizer crashed my 750li in the driveway, some years back. true story.

Wahooo's picture

My mechanic, and he's a very good mechanic, refuses to own a car built after 2002. Too many chinese parts, he says.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Tyler my hats off to you for a rip roaring week for your reportage on the beat.

From the "London Fix" scandal at the start of the week and now this on the automotive industry as the epitomy of waste in an economy that is nothing less than a "hall of mirrors"...


kedi's picture

Automobile manufacturers as yeast in fermentation. Keep shittin it out, till you drown in it yourself.

Gaffing_Nome's picture

time to un-diversify (in a time conscious manner) outta muh PGM holdings. Well...actually been watching the China/CC converter/SAfrica/Russia s/d "dynamix" for a few years, been planning  on doing it for a while. Just waiting for peak-muppet stupid PGM interest/spec to reach it's apex for the "alterna" transitional elements. Used it have a thing for Rh, based of future demand for Chinese 3-way CCs. Plenty of recyclable supply.

ack...Long fountain pens!


Runs-With_Toast's picture

Crazy world, good story Tyler

Karaio's picture

Do not be alarmed, the thing is simple. 

Let's recycle, we spend twice as much to dismantle the government prints more bonus for food. 


Karaio's picture

Some time ago the Russians sent back to japan because they were several cars with radioactivity above normal. 

An engine factory is 48Km from Fukushima. 

No Japanese terrorist, and just turn off the lights, he cruse! 


XRAYD's picture

Can we get a few pictures of where all the extra people without jobs are parked?

kill switch's picture

Just one guy parked all of them for $1.00 a car not a bad business to be in..It just dawned on me ,,if all those cars have at least three gallons of gas that would be??????????

semperfi's picture

Solution - put all these cars on the ship shipping ships that are shipping shipping ships.  

Those 2 items combined say recovery! loud and clear - bullish!

BeetleBailey's picture

My thoughts exactly.

Fucking politicians will tout the "valet" effect in parking these motherfuckers (jobs, see? we are doing something......the cunts)....no matter where these shit-boxes go/end up.

The explanation/excuse of they are headed for foreign consumers is fucking laughable.....otherwise there would be massive ranges like this in the US....(and there may be, camouflaged somewhere in places like Harry Fucking Reids' desert in Nevada. The gubbermint owns 91% of that fucked up casino/only shite-state.)

Channel stuffed to the gills, the US automakers simply lie about it - and don't build the fuckers.....phantom cars and trucks, a la the wasteland that is Detroit.

After all, it IS Government Motors.

raki_d's picture

Time to list these mcDs $1 menu

JDFX's picture

Uk car biz doing ok at the moment. Sunderland exports alot of motors, so the pics are likely a staging station awaiting eu lorries to pick up and deliver.




Bloody Muppet's picture

Over 3 million cars are waiting to be sold in the US at any time, so a few hundred thousand in the UK wouldn't be unusual. 

VWAndy's picture

We should stack um up into a giant pyramid. And cap it with a big camera. Just tell everybody its gonna shit skittles for them if they do a good job. Rant off.

Manic by Proxy's picture

Suddenly my apparently foolish purchase of useless desert acreage is beginning to look like genius. GENIUS! A giant parking lot just outside of exciting downtown Barstow. I shall call it "Detroit Dunes". The cars and the money will roll in surely. Sort of like fiat for Fiats.

Dre4dwolf's picture

Two Words


Magooo's picture

I bet Marx predicted this..... he's been very right about capitalism and very wrong about communism

BeetleBailey's picture

well said Magooo

Perfect analogy of that fucker....

Private Bailey

natty light's picture

10 million empty homes in US.

smacker's picture

The car manufacturers are competing with airplane manufacturers who also have vast parking lots all over the world overflowing with unused airplanes. Mohave desert anyone?

OsoPolar's picture

The real question is not why so many cars are standing around. The real question is who financed them and how are they linked to the books of the automakers.

Is it the same scheme as described here?


AdvancingTime's picture

Onr thing is known and that in cheap money and low interest rates allow the auto companies to hold this unsold inventory longer.