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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Goldilocks's picture

THE CARS ? Just What I Needed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5-rdr0qhWk (3:42)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0Kv6vxZwL8 (4:12)

The Cars- Good Times Roll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCmkZFMSuFQ (3:47)

falconflight's picture

How about some data to augment the pretty pictures.  I have no way of knowing if this is normal or not.  

Bunga Bunga's picture

Calm down, production without demand is a completely normal symptom in central planning.

blindman's picture

maybe the fed needs some .....
extra cars?
David Lindley - Mercury Blues - The Roxy, Washington DC 1988

Dr. Gonzo's picture

Dumb ass Central Planners should have let GM go bankrupt and the problem might not be so bad. 

discopimp's picture

I know the answer to the problem...wait my pop tarts are ready and the game is back on

Manipuflation's picture

That is amazing. 

I didn't see a lot of pick-up trucks in there but did see a lot of SUV types.  I guess that depends on geogrphical location.  I guess that explains why every time I get out my pick-up,(that I have taken extremely good care of) someone walks up and makes an offer.  Not For Sale.  I bought that truck in 2001 and it still looks like it is pretty much brand new and there is a reason why.  Take care of your stuff and it lasts a lot longer.  You don't need to buy something new every couple of years. 

The old mantra pre-2008 was that you should dump your vehicle every few years because something will "go wrong" with it and it will cost you more than a down payment on a brand new car to fix.  Perhaps that does happen and there will be expenses but there is another way to deal with that.  Fix the thing yourself if you can.  Most of of the time you can fix it yourself.  Just because your service engine light soon light comes on does not mean you need a new car.  It's likley an O2 sensor and nine times out of ten it is a failed sensor that monitors engine aspiration and exhaust.  Buy a code reader for a $100 or even go have it read for free at an auto parts store.  They will print you a slip that tells you what the code means and even reset the computer for you.

Anytime you see a service engine light on, it's a bad sensor somewhere.  If you keep driving the car without addressing it then you will fuck things up.  Eventually there will be some problems that require more advanced knowledge and sometimes really bad things just end up happening because parts wear out.  When those part wear out, it is not a service engine light that comes on, you feel it in the vehicle's performance.

I love the old classic 60's muscle cars.  I am not of that classic age where the old school guys rodded out the engines but I did have a 69 Pontiac Tempest that a motorhead friend and I had just had to tear apart when I was younger back in the 90's.  There was no computer but by the time we were done we had a 3/4 race cam, Edelbrock intake manifold, a Holley 750 and a Mallory electronic ignition along with custom welded stainless steel daul exhaust with Thursh glasspacks.  I added some Krager Keystone classic rims and BF Goodrich tires.  Added some trim too.

I will never forget the first time we fired her up after running through the engine which took us two months to do.  It was a symphony of cackle and and if you do not what "cackle" means, it means this.  That is a great burn and you can also hear the hyrdraulic lifters float.  I wonder how many of the young ones know what happens if you use solid lifters and things are not balanced?  I am probably one of the last of my generation to know about some of these things.  We don't need their bluetoothed cars.  A 65 GTO is not going to report where you are to the government.

There was nothing in the world that felt like acceleration the first time I opened the Holley's four barrel.  You just got pushed back in the seat and felt the Turbo 400 transmission shift smoothly.  The sound of an American engine from the 60's is not like any other in the world.  It is a thing of beauty to listen to if you have never had a chance to ride in one like I built. Later on, the top speed I hit was around 135-140 mph when the front end started coming off the ground and I had to let off.  I was angry about a girl and had several miles of deserted straight road ahead.  You should have seen my gas gauge going down in real time!  I got it out of my system and never did that again.

I had to sell my 69 to help my Mom on finances before she passed but I want one of the orignals back.  Car's are a part of American culture.  I do not want to drive a computer.  How about a real car.     

Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

That old car will soon be illegal.  No black box, no current pollution controls, no computers, plus it's fun?  Gotta get that off the road buddy.

robertocarlos's picture

Can you still land at those airports if your 777 runs out of fuel?

FeralSerf's picture

You can land your 777 just about anywhere if you please. You might not be able to take off again though.

hooligan2009's picture

ok..i did a search...saw a grudniag stroy from 2009 and this excerpt

Eric Lyman, a senior analyst at Truecar, calculates the inventory overhang slightly differently, but reaches the same conclusion.

Rather than tally supply days (assembly line to sale) he prefers “days to turn,” which is the time it takes to sell a car from the day it is delivered to the dealer. This excludes transportation time, which for cars made overseas, can be well over a week. The shorter days to turn metric stood at 64.9 days, up 23% from 52.6 days a year ago.

“These are the highest inventory levels we’ve seen since 2009,” Lyman said, and it leaves manufacturers two choices: either make fewer cars for a while or step up incentives to move them faster. So far, they’ve preferred incentives.

So how long does it take to unwind the surplus? Lyman said he expects it will take a couple of months.


from here http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2014/03/03/why-this-winters-blizzar...

somebody is mixing shit up.. if the inventory isn't turned into sales that just has to mean invenotry will show up in company reporting this quarter (well except for chrysler owner fiat who uses european accounting rules, whatever they are)


ChargingHandle's picture

World calling Belgium.... We need your help. 

Bárðarbunga's picture

Is it okay that ZeroHedge just copies verbatim an entire fucking webpage and shows it to us? Maybe it's better than just a fucking link, but maybe write some original content and then explain to people that if they want to see something more... go to this fucking guy's webpage. I suppose we're just mindless idiot fucks who won't click a link and do that, but you know what? I clicked on the this fucking guy's link and saw the very exact same fucking thing that was posted. So who's being the lazy fuck? Not me...

Manipuflation's picture

Yes, it IS OK for a Tyler to do that because I would not have known otherwise.  I liked the post.         

AdvancingTime's picture

Also ok by me. This is an open forum and I thank him for his work.

Blankenstein's picture

Copying his page??  It first appeared in the Guardian - credit where credit is due.



Spungo's picture

Since GM is a company that has no profits, maybe the other car makers could donate their cars to GM and get the charity tax deduction.

newbie vampire's picture

Buy my brand of cornflakes and YOU will get a new car.     Think how enviously your neighbors will be when you drive home in your spanking brand new hot diggerdy dog car with your cornflakes.

user2011's picture

If the channel-stuffing is wide spread, even other than GM,  then I think these crooks are waiting for bail out.    They will stuff to a point and then ask for government help.  Some tax rebate or relief for people to buy cars. 

Aurora13's picture

This is what happens when market signalling is removed. Inflation in meat prices making meat a luxury for many whilst thousands of complex manufactures , using high energy input, expensive and rare earth metals and highly complicated supply chains , are slowly yielding to entropy on the docks. 

I recall a 1930's depression era novelist,  John Steinbeck maybe, describing how he became disillusioned with  capitalism at the time of the Great  Depression when he saw mountains of Californian oranges left to rot in a pile in the fields - in the hope of increasing prices. Is it any different now ?

AdvancingTime's picture

Many of the new cars hitting the road are really leases which show up as a sale, and many of them may be motivated because an automobile owner faced with a costly repair doesn't have money to put into their current vehicle. This allows someone in a weak financial position, such as those living on disability or student loans, to put themselves into an ego boosting vehicle that they cannot in reality afford, or need.

I contend that super low artificial interest rates are making much of this possible. If I'm correct, much of the idea of "so called pent up demand" is secondary. It should be noted even with surging sales US auto companies are "hyper boosting" the economy by producing more cars than are being sold causing inventories to build. More below on the subject of a shift in consumer spending that hints of problems ahead.


Fogey's picture

I got a question!

Just read an article about Germany and that a town are hiring alcholics to sweep the streets. They pay them in beer. If they do not want to enjoy beer, they will earn 1 euro an hour.

Now I wonder, how is it possible for the financial market to go ATH, and at the same time push wages down to developing country-levels?

WTF is going on?

AdvancingTime's picture

If we have to many cars and can't buy them all they need to make them into something we "really need" like personal robots! An article that I stumbled across got me thinking about the implications of robots going main stream. Yes, I'm looking down the road at a time in the near future when a person may decide to walk down the street with his metal companion or worker beside him or in tow.

Why would someone take or have a robot with them? To carry things, do work, personal protection, as in a bodyguard, or because you just want to attract attention and turn heads. Questions immediately begin to surface and problems arise when you are told at the mall that you can't bring that "thing" in here. Below is an article that looks into the crazy problems robots might create if they ever go main stream.


hootowl's picture

If people can't affor to buy cars, what makes you think they'll be able to afford personal robots.....for any reason?

Then.....what the hell would we do with millions and millions of onowned/unemployed robots?

Oh....wait....Is it possible that the Tribal bankster's bloodlust could be sated with robot armies for their parmawars?  Could spilled oil and mechanical fluids be as satisfying as watching real human blood and guts being blown all over the battlefields of the earth?  Would Allah approve of these infidel robots as sacrifices sufficient to gain 70 virgins for the mullahs issuing fatwas to annihilate the infidel robots?.....Or would Allah be disappointed in the fact that there would be less and less 10 year old children being blown to smithereens for his sake.

Meremortal's picture

Zerohedgers, still gullible and dumb. Those photos are 4 and 5 years old. One is from a Nissan factory that turns out 500,000 cars a year. They have to be stored while waiting for transport.

If manufacturers have a glut, they slow production and lay people off. They can't keep producing cars if no one is buying, there is no capital to do so without sales.

Business, how does it work?






Blankenstein's picture

This article shows no evidence that these conditions are occurring today.  But they did occur in 2009 and appears to be first reported in the Guardian.  



"Growing stocks of unsold cars around the world - Carmakers around the world are cutting production as inventories build up to unprecedented levels. Storage areas and docksides are now packed with vast expanses of unsold cars as demand slumps"



Twaddlefree's picture

Thank you. I was hoping NOT to be the one to break up the usual garbage fest on this site and state a few facts. The photos are old. Yes, there were major stockpiles back in 2008 and 2009. I saw that photo of the Nissan test track back in 2009, so the "update" from May 16, 2014, shows the cars all gone? Imagine that.

Notice that the very few close-ups shown are not of new cars. Notice that most of the sites are in Europe. As someone else said, where are all the pick-up trucks?

ZH should be ashamed to just copy and paste without requiring real facts -- simply reinforcing poor journalism and propaganda.

natty light's picture

an estimated 10 billion roadworthy cars in the world today.

10 billion ? no way.

manich's picture

Ever notice how many RV dealers along the interstates are busting with inventory. Also notice how few rvs you see going down the highway compared to 7 years ago. Big channel stuffing going on in that industry.

salxs's picture

This entire article appears to be have totally debunked

That Zero Hedge Article On Unsold Cars Is Bullshit


bvocal's picture

I know it is very much the fashion of the day, and extra much so here @ zerohedge, to be all pro capitalism and pro industry and pro guns and pro fosil fuels and anti anything remotely liberal... so please tell, me, all you pro unregualted capitalism folks, how is this all going to end up well if we keep using the current construct for our society? It is my hippy/liberal conviction that we simply will not survive as a species if we continue with our curent social construct. The only way we will survive as a species is for us to collectivly realize and admit that the Earth is finite and we will destroy it in the near futire if we continue to operate with the profit motive as our only moral. We need to actually become -more than- socialist, wee need to recognize that to keep building is insane, we need to share our resources equitably and intelligently and we need to actually -OH NO WHAT ABOUT FREEDOM!!!!!!!- to actually distribute food and shelter and medicine and knowledge and education to all people so that we can all contribute to solving how to live a modern life with modern thigns in a sustainable way. 

I am more than aware that this notion is enough to get the zerohedge death squads after me, but to those offended by this notion, it is up to you to solve ALL issues now, as you have politically bullied all other ideas off the global stage of thought. So get to it, you have some real work to do and I am not impressed with your obsession with Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI! over all other things.

Nimby's picture

Um...your socialism is what has allowed millions of people that never should have existed to have generation after generation of offspring that suckles from the government teet.  You want to reduce our "exploitation" of the earth, then stop feeding your ghetto bunnies.  Don't worry, those of us with guns will clean up the environmental mess you've created.

Azannoth's picture

You pretty much summed it all up! Billions upon Billions of "useless eaters" rotting away the Planet and Habitable Living space without contributing Anything to Arts, Science or Philosophy just faking maggots. I think a Nuclear WW3 is not only inevitable it's Necessary!

ATG's picture

Doom and gloomers since Aesop, African, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Indian and Peruvian Skeptics, Cassandra, Chicken Little/Henny Penny, Hobbes, Malthus, Swift, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich, Kissinger, Soros and AlGore have been making fortunes off the gullible, billions for aeons.

It's not about Benghazi BS, failures or lack, it's about Constitutional protections of justice, life, liberty, peace and prosperity:


FredFlintstone's picture

What is your occupation? If you don't mind me asking a personal question. I'll start. I am an engineer.

Signs of the end's picture

MOVE ALONG FOLKS - Nothing to see here!

Even if there are a million unsold cars sitting around the world, it's no big deal! It's only about 30-40 billion $ worth of inventory which the Fed is buying up every month anyway through its various schemes and scams. And in due time, GM etal will be bailed out with more of your money!

It's juts more of the same old, same old! Nothing new here to report!


volney47's picture

Taxpayer funder bailouts allow politicians to buy votes of loyal unioized autoworkers so they csn vote for the same politicians so they get more bail out money etc. etc. etc.

volney47's picture

Taxpayer funder bailouts allow politicians to buy votes of loyal unioized autoworkers so they csn vote for the same politicians so they get more bail out money etc. etc. etc.

Dudeskis's picture

Echoes do George Orwell. We must dump the boots in to the ocean so men may make more boots.

DoctorOfLove's picture

Major criticsm across the intertubes about this article.   Surprising number of sites are fans of ZH and uniformly they think this article is BS and beneath ZH.

Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

The Western countries get more broke & more Soviet by the day.

Azannoth's picture

I absolutely refuse to buy a Car, period! They cost 2x their true cost due to taxes and over-regulation, the Petrol costs 4x as much as it cost to make it(and turn a profit) due to taxes, the Insurance premiums are outrageous, you get hunted by cops like a criminal(so they can milk you for "speeding" tickets), you get fined(or have to pay) outrageous amounts for parking in the city(if you can find a place), ... the list goes on. A Car is the single biggest cash sucker you can have.


No Car for Me, No Thx!

WMM II's picture

what's a few misrepresentations when you can get over 500k hits....





Who was that masked man's picture

Come on ZH, most of these pics date from 2009 and the information here is just plain untrue.  Please do a little fact checking before you print this stuff, you're losing cred lately at a rapid rate.

Yeto's picture

Great pictures, great topic.  Too bad the text itself is childishly repetitive.

JP45's picture

I just wanted to thank you for posting this article. I registered just to post this comment. You people are idiots. Tyler Durden? How original. No accountability for the garbage you post or the potential impact of those lies. Fortunately, every other journalist (actual professionals) has called BS on this BS. Those few moments of exposure for your site have proven to be informative. Now people (with the exception of your uneducated followers) will know to avoid anything concerning your site like the plague. Good thing you have company at the bottom of the barrel.