Carmakers Storing Unsold Cars Aboard Ships

Richard Chen
by Richard Chen
carmakers storing unsold cars aboard ships

The Financial Times reports that the glut of unsold new cars has spilled onto previously underutilized ships. Carmakers have apparently run out of space on dealer lots, ports of entry, rail cars, and airport runways. Just last spring, there wasn’t enough capacity aboard the world’s fleet of 640 car carriers to go around, a situation upended by the global downturn in car sales starting around September. Coincidentally, there are 70 more (and larger) car carriers due to be delivered this year. Shipping companies are relieved to get the storage business, and carmakers get someplace to hide their cars. The article was able to confirm that up to 2500 Toyotas are chartered for an extended cruise to nowhere aboard the Morning Glory in Malmö, Sweden. (Pictures, anyone?) As long as the boats don’t flip over, the cars will be just fine. [ED: Until the marine environment takes its toll.] And if not: sad, sad pictures of shredded Mazdas aboard the Cougar Ace here.

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  • Lotus7 Lotus7 on Feb 04, 2009

    I'm concerned that someday we need to consider not wasting non-renewable resources to scrap cars or build crappy ones for no profit. Think of the natural resources used to make Sebrings....Aveos, etc.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Feb 04, 2009
    What the hell was the Cougar Ace doing anywhere near the Aleutians? Because the earth is a globe, not flat. It's a shorter arc to sail or fly on a northern route than closer to the equator. Google "great circle".

  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Feb 04, 2009
    What the hell was the Cougar Ace doing anywhere near the Aleutians? Because it is halfway between there (Japan) and here (USA.) get out your globe and string. --chuck

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Feb 05, 2009

    So they shredded all those seats, wheels, tires, radios, trim? Okay the chassis could somehow be tweaked but think of all the parts not damaged by sitting at a weird angle. I still think they should have sold the cars with a big disclaimer notice, a VIN number tagged as a reconstructed wreck and a few extra liability releases from the customer. As for storing excess cars at sea - that has a cost too - right? Fuel, crew, etc? Seems like some desert location would be a good option. I guess the salty air would be much less corrosive than a month of winter driving up north and these cars are prob coated much better than the cars of the 60s and 70s.