Where Unsold EVs Go To Die: Belgium's Ports Drowning Under Glut Of Chinese Imports

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 06, 2024 - 02:40 PM

Ten years ago this week, we posted one of out most viral stories, highlighting the over-capacity in the auto industry:  "Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die," which highlighted the 'endgame' of automakers' 'channel stuffing' efforts to disguise the sudden lack of demand for all the exciting new models that they had forecast would boom to the moon...

And now, as MishTalk's Mike Shedlock reports,  we are seeing similar pictures across Europe...

"Some are parked here for a year, sometimes more."

Le Monde reports Belgium’s ports drowning under glut of Chinese electric cars: ‘Some are parked here for a year, sometimes more’

Due to China’s overcapacity in production – as it aims to capture a quarter of the European electric vehicle market – the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are inundated.

You probably need to see it to appreciate the challenges the automobile industry faces in transitioning to electricity. You also need to come here to understand how the Chinese industry’s overcapacity has flooded the European market. That morning, as the sun unexpectedly lit up the maze of highways leading to this remote arm of the port of Antwerp, Belgium, a huge cargo ship from the Norwegian company Höegh Autoliners unloaded thousands of cars at one of the terminals of International Car Operators (ICO), a subsidiary of the Japanese group Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

Alongside Swedish-Norwegian Wallenius Wilhelmsen, it is one of the main operators of the now merged port of Antwerp-Bruges, the world’s largest automotive terminal, through which the production of some 40 brands used to transit. But that was before the emergence of their Chinese competitors.

Car Parks

Quartz reports Cars are piling up at European ports at an alarming rate

Imported vehicles are seriously piling up at European ports, turning them into “car parks.” Automakers are distributors are struggling with a slowdown in car sales as well as logistical bottlenecks that make it hard to alleviate the buildup of new, unsold vehicles.

Some Chinese brand EVs had been sitting in European ports for up to 18 months, while some ports had asked importers to provide proof of onward transport, according to industry executives. One car logistics expert said many of the unloaded vehicles were simply staying in the ports until they were sold to distributors or end users.

“It’s chaos,” said another person who had been briefed on the situation.

This is another part of the escalating trade war between China and the rest of the world.

China Produces 55 Percent of All Steel, Biden and Trump Eye Tariffs

Yesterday, I commented China Produces 55 Percent of All Steel, Biden and Trump Eye Tariffs

On April 22, I cautioned A Big Deflationary Push From China But Will Biden or Trump Allow That?

China keeps returning to a well that has run dry, using exports as a means for growth. China is about to hit a brick wall, with global consequences.

My #1 issue looking ahead to 2025 is a global trade war with serious repercussions.