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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laomei's picture

"Well nobody in China can afford them on their meagre pittance wages"... that's patently false.  The big thing is that US cars are basically a minor step up from random domestic brands, and below the better domestic brands.  Most like to buy BMW/Benz/Audi at the higher end (prices are approximately double the US price), and for mid-range, it's mostly a mix of Japanese and VW.

goldhedge's picture

You do know the "China" models are stripped of a lot of the safety and environmental features of the Western ones right?


laomei's picture

Maybe 5~10 years ago that was the case.  Not so much anymore.  At least, not for any models that have a chance in hell of selling.

Peter Pan's picture

I think these cars can be used for group funerals. Two in the front, two in the back, one in the boot. Extra spaces available in the ashtray for those who have been cremated.

Then again, they can probably be used as homes with some slight modifications.


Peter Pan's picture

By the way is there much difference between these unsold cars sitting on someone's balance sheet and the crap that the FED has accumulated on its balance sheet over the last few years?

Wahooo's picture

Good analogy! We can imagine each of those cars equal to, say, $100,000 on the Fed balance sheet.

Puffnstuff's picture

Well if they'd just give me some free money I'd liberate a couple of new trucks for them.

goldhedge's picture




All we need now is GHOST PEOPLE.


Uncle Remus's picture


All we need now is GHOST PEOPLE.


Been there, voted with that. Dead democrats.

honestann's picture

This is just one of endless insanities that happen when predators can create unlimited fiat, fake, fraud, fiction, fantasy, fractional-reserve toilet-paper debt notes out of nothing by merely tapping a few keys.

Oh, not to mention the corruption of lending to huge corporations at zero interest rate.

Oh, not to mention the corruption of paying bonuses to corporation executives based upon short-term measures.

Oh, not to mention the corruption of letting companies consider unsold goods as sold goods, so the executives can get those unearned bonuses.

This is what happens when human predators have easy ways to jigger the system to benefit themselves and their fellow predators.

How much pollution is created by these rotting cars (and all the materials and production activity that went into creating cars that just rot and end up in a land-fill somewhere)?  But now most eco-freaks have been converted into apologists for the carbon-tax scam (AGW), so they're not available to freak about real waste and pollution like this.

Humans are so far gone.

AdvancingTime's picture

Sustainability means planning our future in a way that we do not set ourselves up to crash and burn at some future date. Long-term planning has not been something politicians excel at or are even good at. Our system is geared at getting politicians reelected and fulfilling the most pressing needs of today. 

Things like profit, greed, and quenching our unrelinquishing desire for growth are moved in front of the longer term issues and needs. Mapping out a logical and sustainable long-term plan requires delving into some rather hefty philosophical questions like what brings real happiness. We would have to think about what kind of society and world future generations might want to live in. We would have to recognize the role of the human animal in the overall scheme of things.


Ckierst1's picture

Sustainability means letting REAL, laissez faire, truly free markets function to allocate resources properly.  Is there any honest person now who can't see that that laissez faire markets are also the most environmentally sound means of allocating resources because they are an honest exchange of value.  These are the fruits of socialism.  Crony capitalism IS socialism because governments are intervening in markets for sundry reason that are in their agenda.  The banksters, corporatist fat cats, crony trade unionists and gummint political/bureaucrat turnstile elites are stuck in an endless loop and the "invisible hand" is getting ready to suckerpunch these sleazy fascists.  Can't REAL environmentalists see that sound economics is in the interest of the environment?  This shit is such an incredible waste of resources that it is criminal, violates all constructive precepts of sound economics, is poor stewardship of resources and a sin against nature and the natural order.  They fail to trade good value for good value.

FeralSerf's picture

"REAL, laissez faire, truly free markets" are an impossibility.

honestann's picture

You are partly correct, but to have any chance whatsoever of solving any problems, you must reformulate all statements by replacing "we" and "us" with "I" and "me".

The very notion that WE need to think about what delivers real happiness to individuals is a direct and blatant self-contradition.  Different situations and different tradeoffs make different individuals happy, and [virtually] ZERO individuals want to be slaves.

Once you understand this ONE fundamental fact, you can move forward on two fronts:

#1:  Support the end of EVERY possible "system" that involves ANY involuntary interactions between humans.

#2:  Go figure out what will make you happy (all things considered), and spend the rest of your life taking the actions to achieve your happiness.

Of course, you must understand what these two items mean, including what might not be obvious to some less thoughtful (and more intellectually corrupt) individuals.

When all involuntary systems are gone, you are not forced to do anything, and not punished for doing anything you wish that does not harm others or their property.  This means you can't force others to do what you want either, or punish others for doing what they want.  You are free to pursue your happiness, but so is everyone else.  They don't harm or force you or your property, and you don't harm or force them or their property.  Simple.

You are free to do anything that doesn't harm or destroy others or their property, and everyone else is too.  So you get to [discover and] choose what will make you happy, but taking the actions necessary to make yourself happy is entirely up to you.

But this doesn't mean you are stuck doing everything yourself.  Not at all.  You and everyone else are entirely free to do anything at all, which means all voluntary interactions are fine (including endless activities that are not illegal).

Yes indeed, everyone should think about how to create a sustainable future for themselves.  And that is a completely natural to think in a world where your future is entirely up to you.  Which is my point.  No global solutions.  No national solutions.  No state solutions.  No county solutions.  No city or town solutions.  The only solutions that exist are... individual solutions, including voluntary interactions with others.


PS:  The only way to solve problems with laws, officials, politicians, authorities and governments is... to eliminate them all.  Just understand that any "system" imposed on everyone (or anyone) is inherently an evil system, and cannot be fixed.

trader1's picture

seeing all those unused cars is sickening.  

aggregate demand should outstrip aggregate supply.  besides, that's how you get "growth".

and, the world doesn't need more autos.  

it needs more christiania bikes.

Cthonic's picture

Pretty soon we'll be fighting with our own machines for lebensraum...

Papasmurf's picture

The solution is simple.  Part them out so guys like me can keep driving the old jalopy.  If I can find a new leather tanseats for my 96 Mustang, I could go a few hundred on that stuff just to get that new car smell.  If these sit longer in these humid docks, they won't even have the aroma of solvents outgassing to give buyers that new car high.  They will be even more difficult to sell when that's gone.  Perhaps they have a manual tranny too,  I'll buy if they have a five-speed world class for $300. 

These guys did this to themselves by delivering cars with defects though a dealer network that won't diagnose and fix the new car they just sold you.  I haven't bought a car new since 1982 after that vehicle was delivered a quart low on oil, leaking main seal, pinging engine that failed emissions every year.  It passed their 82 point safety check which included checking all fluid levels.  The horn cover broke off on the trip home from buying.  Window crank knob broke the next week.  The horn repeatedly came unplugged under the hood, so the dealer charged Chrysler for replacing the horn and turn signal assembly.  The starter was broken the next trip after they "repaired" the horn.  That experience was so horrific that I saw no reason to buy cars that need repairing new when there are plenty that need repairing to be had cheaply as used.  Instead of buying new cars, I learned how to repair the old ones.  I stay with 90's models with OBD2, no satellite tracking when they offered more colors that silver metallic, gold metallic or black.

It may be strategic planning to park them at the docks.  Last year when the storms blew through the East Coast of the US and flooded these parked new cars, sales of this inventory skyrocketed - to the insurers.

AdvancingTime's picture

We must remember the influx of monetary stimulus from QE and massive government deficit spending has created the illusion of more pent up demand then exist or can be substantiated. This results in an elevated baseline for comparing year on year growth, in short we have to move forward faster next year just to keep growing. For example, if we manufacture and sell twelve million automobiles this year up from ten million because of low interest rates and easy money, we now must sell  the same number for the economy not to contract. More on how we are pushing on a string in the article below.


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


koaj's picture

06 accord has 151k miles on it. runs great :)

exartizo's picture

your research is commendable. But what it doesn't say is that automobile manufacturing in the United States at the beginning of the 21st century is not about profit. It's about militry preparedness and government. Government bailed out the auto industry in 2008-2009. Does anyone really think that government is not still bailing out the auto industry? Does anyone really think that governments are going to allow companies like Chrysler, GM and Ford to EVER go under?


They are too big to fail for two reasons. 1. Militarily. 2. The jobs they provide. We have a government problem here, not a car manufacturer problem after all.

Those lots of vehicles are simply storage silos for weapons grade metal, should the need arise.

d edwards's picture

Ford never took the bailout money.

headhunt's picture


The only reason they are 'too big to fail' is because they generate large sums of money and votes for the leftists.

cherry picker's picture

Off topic

A few days ago the Ukrainian military was given one hour to leave, now there is no news almost anywhere of the Ukraine situation.  It is either all bullshit or the .govs around the world clamped down on the media.

Comte d'herblay's picture

Ukraine, Mekraine, Migraine,  the attention drawn to this unfolding drama is feeding the beast.

I don't care to see one more article about it.

If we ignore it, it might just go away.  

The more broadband it takes up the less there is for really important stuff. Like how Eric Holder is leaving office without 'auditioning' even one major playuh in the Jewish Wall Street Mafia. 


Downtoolong's picture

I am going to need a new car in a few years, but, I'm waiting for my local Exxon station to start handing out free Chevys with a fillup.


JerseyJoe's picture

These pictures are old and this article is beneath ZH.   

BS look it up.

Comte d'herblay's picture

Au contraire, bon ami.

I just learned about it here.  The lag in knowledge between curious human beans can be attributed to the inability of the brain to absorb too much stimulus at one time.  Some times, we just have to shut off the inflow and thereby miss stuff.

Don't belittle those of us who are seeing this for the first time. There are likely lags in your own information.

Fer instance, do you know where in the world Joe Cassano is?   Why we should know?   No googling!!

SmallerGovNow2's picture

BI article circa Feb 2009.  almost certainly gotten worse since then...


rsnoble's picture

Let me guess.......most of these parks are not in FantasyLand(USA)??

I have a solution that will not only keep everyone employed but also stop wasting resources.......at the end of the assembly line they build a car disintegrator where it is chewed up into bits, shipped back to China and processed.  Only people with gov't clearance will be allowed to work in this part of the car plant and anyone that questions why there are no cars coming out the other end will be thrown in  jail.  To make things look good they will have a rotating stock of cars that are brought into the factory in an underground tunnel.

LOL.  This whole economy is a fucking sham built to unattainable heights based on digital zeros what could possibly go wrong?

I really don't see a huge war not happening there is no way any of this can end well.  The elites aren't going to let go of their stranglehold just so the world can survive.

Lumberjack's picture
A Crushing Issue: How to Destroy Brand-New Cars



PORTLAND, Ore. -- "Fire in the hole!" shouts Ron Hoodenpyle, covering his ears and stepping away from a brand-new Mazda 3 he just wired with special detonators. Suddenly, all six of the car's airbags explode at once.

Within hours the metallic blue sedan will be drained, gutted, squished and shredded -- one of thousands to meet the same fate here. The cars are so new, most don't even have 10 miles on the odometer.

Auto makers usually try to find the best way to build new vehicles. These days, Mazda Motor Corp7261.TO -2.28% is busy figuring out how to most efficiently destroy them.

headhunt's picture

That article is disturbing.

When lawyers rule a society this is the stupidity that you get.

What a waste; how many lawyers work in government?

Ban KKiller's picture

98 Subaru, 283,000. 05 highlander, 165,000. Both bought used years ago. 

Be subversive, buy used.

Gohn Galt's picture

Have you noticed that your used car values have gone up in price? 

I would like to hear more on this subject.  There seams to be more incentive than just having inventory on books to justify all of this and the manipulation of the used car market.  What am I missing?

Lumberjack's picture

What you're missing is the no money down bad credit used (I imagine that new will come into play) car sales. I saw a guy purchase a used a basic Ford F-150, and will pay about 70K when done. The fucking vehicle was worth abot 18K, if that.

That said, a lot of auto plants wrere closed here in the US over the last 10 years. 





I could go on, but I was working for an outfit that went around the country that would test electrical power systems. Included was testing power sub stations for PBC containing electrical equipment. That was due to top management needing to know what hazaeds were there before they closed the plants.  (I did the same for other industrial sites as well). When I showed up, it was like Dr. Kevorkian knocking on your door, though they never knew it. I hated that job.

Metal Minded's picture

We are not in a Depression, We are not in a Depression, We are not in a Depression......

d edwards's picture

Take one Chinese "ghost city" add the US homeless people, give each one a surplus car. Viola! Three problems solved!


Seriously, there are a hell of a lot of dollars, euros, yen etc. tied up in products no one wants (or can't afford) This is insanity.

ArmyofOne's picture

This is a 2009 story.  


Nothing to see here move along.

Carpenter1's picture

Nope, pics are from 2012, 2013.

ObamaCaresHugSquad's picture

Here's the same post on Jalopnik.com more than 5 years ago:




Enjoy your stale reposts, shitheads

TruthTalker's picture

For some of us it is a new story

falak pema's picture

so what you are saying, if I read that article right, is that ZH/Tyler are posting photos taken during 2009 crisis as if they are today's reality?

If its true then ZH owes us an explanation.

That aint correct reporting. 

nowhereman's picture

Some of those pictures are new, some are older. But did you take the time to google those images as stated in the article?  Or do you just complain?  No, I thought not.  If you don't provide the information for me without my having to verify it, well then, Tyler must be to blame.  Sounds very American to me.

Carpenter1's picture

About half the pics are from 2012, 2013, looked it up on google. The article claiming BS is just looking to piggy back off this article's popularity.

Comte d'herblay's picture

"The past isn't dead. It's not even past".



I wonder how much more YOU don't know?

Carpenter1's picture

I did the research, half the pics are as new as 2013, and some are as old as 2009. The ones from 2013, 2012 are proof positive the article isn't using 2009 pics. And who's to say the 2009 pics haven't changed much, maybe with newer cars?

falak pema's picture

Impressive photos; the crisis of overproduction in world autos is nearly as bad as the crisis in production of derivative bets by the TBTF HFT Casino !