By on December 25, 2008

Welcome! I don’t know how you managed to separate yourself from the merry makers in your midst, but we aim to provide you with a little late December diversion. Today’s car-related entertainment comes to you via Google Earth and a TTAC commentator, who suggested we have a gander at the abandoned airfield at Downsview Park, Ontario. Sure enough, there’s a line of new but definitely uinsold cars parked in rows on the runway, ready for… winter. We’ve been saying for some time that new cars are stacking-up like cordwood. So, where’s Waldo? Please add new manufacturer car lot locations below.

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29 Comments on “Ask The Best and Brightest: Where Are the Cars?...”


  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    This is actually an improvement from 2007/08.

    Back then the entire ajacent taxiway was bumper to bumper with ChryCo 300’s as was the non-used cross runway. For a while they even rented out an underused parking lot (center left of the picture) from Bombardier DeHavilland.

    It was a nice touch. Cars made by the Canadian Auto Workers stacking up next to unsold & parked Dash 8-200 and 300’s, also courtesy of the CAW.

  • avatar
    rmwill

    Toledo has huge lots full of all kinds of Cerberus products.

  • avatar
    vanderaj

    Port Melbourne, Australia

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=port+melbourne,+victoria&sll=39.202016,-76.859368&sspn=0.208848,0.411644&g=Columbia,+MD&ie=UTF8&ll=-37.846121,144.913037&spn=0.006651,0.012864&t=h&z=17

    That’s old. Apparently, they’re renting farmers’ properties to stash them.

    Baltimore Port, one of the largest entry ports for the US. Most cars made in Mexico for the east coast land here too:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&ie=UTF8&q=baltimore+port&fb=1&ll=39.250633,-76.530955&spn=0.006522,0.012864&t=h&z=17

  • avatar
    97escort

    An on the ground view:

    http://www.blogto.com/city/2008/12/downsview_parking_lot/

    A lot of the cars are Challengers.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    Full of Challengers. Really? Are dealers still asking crazy markups for these things, or has that worn off yet?

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    The Dash type of Aircraft are great, but like Cars there has been a slow down on orders.
    Porter Airlines use the 400’s they are a great Canadian Plane again made by CAW workers in Canada!
    The Downsview base a World War two Airport has been used by Chrysler Canada for a couple of years now for storage for Cars they cant sell

  • avatar
    kovachian

    Nothing says genius like agreeing to build at full capacity, even in the face of almost zero demand. Gooooo economic vacuum yayyyyyy!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    1169hp

    “If” you so desire a Challenger/300 V8, now is the time to buy.

    “If” the salesman claims high demand=high price. Promptly break out the Google Map pictures entitled “exibit-A”!

    Then just about name your price.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Robert F, if you read this, can you please post the quote about that Chrysler’s dealers storage problem? I lost the link…thanks.

    Merry Christmas

  • avatar

    NickR :

    Uh…

  • avatar

    I know there’s a gigantic car terminal somewhere around Sea-Tac.

    Lots of Toyotas.

  • avatar
    OhMyGoat

    There’s also a crap load of Toyotas sitting here fresh off the boat at the port of entry in Benicia, CA.

  • avatar
    KeithBates

    Google map 26566 72nd ave so, kent wa. and also
    7250 S 206th st, kent, wa

    Switch the view to satellite, look at all the new cars…

    SteveL

  • avatar

    I drive past that Downsview base on a regular basis.
    It is jam packed right now with Chargers/300s and even Challengers.

  • avatar
    Hippo

    Mesa, AZ
    There is a huge old Motorola site that was demolished some time back. Wall to wall with new cars. Hard to say what they are from just riding by as the chain link fence is covered in fabric.
    I’m sure one could see what brands they are, if one cared and walked up to the fence, as there are small gaps.

    You could already tell in summer, riding from TX to AZ secondary highways are parallel to rail road tracks, there were literally thousands of empty car hauler rail cars parked in clusters in the middle of nowhere along the way.

  • avatar
    vitek

    1169hp :
    December 25th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    “”If” you so desire a Challenger/300 V8, now is the time to buy.

    “If” the salesman claims high demand=high price. Promptly break out the Google Map pictures entitled “exibit-A”!

    Then just about name your price.”

    Well 1169, I’ve been shopping for a Challenger the last two weeks. The dealers all start off with list and crow about how they got list plus 5k for the 2008’s. After a few minutes they’ll come down about 2k off list for a SRT. I haven’t tried the satellite photo evidence yet.

    I would appreciate anyone’s thoughts about timing. I still will buy one its just balancing need to sell vs diminishing inventory as I’m not optimistic about Chryslers factories coming back on line.

  • avatar
    1169hp

    vitek:
    10-4.

    I’m no car dealer, just a casual observer and the son a poor southern sharecropper. Though I’ve always heard that the end of the month is a good time to buy. However, I think as of late, all the old rules are out the window.

    I can’t possibly see a Dodge dealer playing hardball in this economic climate….with a somewhat seasonal model (Challenger). Uh-oh. Perhaps you’re in a warm area where the seasonal thing doesn’t apply.

    Happy hunting!

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    FWIW,

    Challengers (all flavors) are on evilBay for sticker.

    They ain’t go anywhere at that price point (your market may vary).

    Story is always the same with ‘novelty’ cars. First 6 months to 1 year they go sticker plus. Then the price always drops. Then they deal. Mustang, Solstice, whatever.

    Hell, they even marked up Fieros. Back in the day.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Googlemap this location:

    4700 e tropical pkwy, las vegas, nv

  • avatar
    damonK

    Google maps isn’t the most up-to-date source to use when checking standing inventory. There is a road built and opened next to my employer’s site within the last three years. The maps of my area show only the railroad tracks that formerly occupied the space of the new road.

    Last time I checked (a few days ago), M-B and Chrysler products were still being moved in and out of the Fairfield terminal in Baltimore every few weeks. The vehicles aren’t stored here.

  • avatar
    jconli1

    Jessup, MD. A charming collection of prisons and sewage treatment plants… and a fittingly ironic location for a domestic “redistribution” yard complete with large rail terminal.

    gmap : 8540 dorsey run rd, jessup, md

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    I took a walk while the bed of my new truck was being sprayed. I stumbled into several closed businesses where the parking lots behind the buildings were packed so tight with new cars that it was impossible to walk between them. It had to be a last in-first out situation since the doors on all but the last row could not be opened.

    All Chrysler products.

  • avatar
    windswords

    I don’t have Google co-ordinates but the port of Jacksonville, Fl is full of cars. You can see them as you cross the Dames Point bridge over the the St. Johns River. Toyotas. Nissans. Maybe VW’s. Hard to make out the details from that height/distance.

  • avatar
    JTParts

    I have a friend at a Honda Dealership, he said that the dealers are always clamoring for more inventory, but that last month over half the dealers did not take their allotment. He claims that’s a first.

  • avatar
    NickR

    http://www.wheels.ca/newsFeatures/article/475396

    Speaking of Chrysler storage problems…quote from the above article:

    “It was unbelievable,” he said. “We rented a farmer’s field last winter where we put 60 cars. But horses ran between the cars and smashed the mirrors. Getting them out of the snow was quite another story.”

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Already noted above is the fact that Satellite photos can be YEARS out of date.

    As far as the Kent, WA location (20MI SE Seattle), it is the railhead where cars are unloaded for trucking to dealers. It’s always cycling between full and nearly empty.

    However, driving past three weeks ago, it was about as deserted as I have ever seen it. The north lot was empty.

    All the yards are clearly visible from SR (State Route) 167 that parallels the tracks and yards.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I’ve wondered for a couple of years what percentage of the cars in existence in this country are sitting in dealer lots, manufacturer lots etc. in normal times.

    I live in western Washington, and so it’s easy to drive by the transit lots at the Port of Tacoma, and the Kent lots mentioned above that are also transit lots. And you drive along South Tacoma Way past the car lots, or the Ford and Chevy dealers in any town, and you soon get the idea that a lot of the productivity in this country is devoted to storing automobiles – and of course paying for these stored automobiles. They belong to someone, right? So what we’re talking about in this thread now is just a bulge.

    If the current upheavals in the Old Three do soon result in what seems inevitably a large reduction in car production in this country, the main difference in the short term will be to the jobs of those building the vehicles. As for the inventory of existing automobiles my sense is that the reduction of that will be a considerably longer-term process.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Don’t let the photo being out of date keep you from using it as a negotiating tactic. Just keep it in your pocket until they pull a fast one. Fight fire with fire. Enjoy.

  • avatar
    gsp

    That airfield is not “abandoned”. It is used every day by Bombardier, government executive jets and a sightseeing company. Underused yes but not abandoned. Aircraft use the main runway to taxi.


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