• Feb 6, 2009
Looking for a place to stash tens of thousands of unsold new vehicles, automakers are turning unused car carrier ships into floating parking holds. It's an unusual development, especially in a shipping industry that is used to having boats filled to capacity and running full steam across the seas. As shippers face sharp declines in traffic, the world's fleet of 640 floating car carriers have been forced to make serious adjustments to cut costs and determine ways to absorb extra capacity. With distribution ports filled with excess inventory and dealers unwilling to accept additional stock, automakers are running out of places to stash cars and parking space is at a premium. All of which has helped to make unused cargo holds look mighty attractive.

Toyota has reportedly signed a deal with Wallenius Wilhelmsen, a large Scandinavian joint venture car-carrier fleet operator, to store up to 2,500 new vehicles in a port in southern Sweden. According to Oslo-based Höegh Autoliners, several other auto manufacturers are negotiating similar deals right now.

[Source: Financial Times, free sub. req'd]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Same story here in Newark Port in New Jersey. More and more lots are being filled with cars that have no place to go. I think that those companies make way too many cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In a related news story, GM, Ford, and Chrysler have agreed to lease a submarine fully equipted with Mark III torpedoes. Said sub was last detected making it's way toward Long Beach with a full complement of UAW volunteers disguised in Somali pirate atire. The sub, renamed "USS Job 1" is said to be led by Captain Mullaly and executive officer Cmdr. Wagoner. Boswains Mate 1st class Nardelli said he's at the helm. Organizing this joint venture is Admiral Watanabe, claiming his demise as CEO at Toyota will lead to a scorched earth policy for the Toyoda family.
      At a press conference at the White House, President Obama when asked about the situation replied, "Um, er, ah, ah, um, er, um, ah, ahhhh, er, ah, why you aksin me?"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Send them to China, sell them new on THEIR lots. screw overseas manufacturing for once, and being that they are the fastest-growing car market right now, we only need to make everyone take a month-long paid holiday from the factories. all the money saved from maintenance and not running machinery or heating/cooling buildings/electricity should add up to a healthy sum.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have to wonder, how many will have dead batteries when it comes time to move the iron out of there?
      • 5 Years Ago
      A couple of these appear to be moored* in the Outer Harbor here in Long Beach, CA.


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      *Or is it marooned?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take one Lexus ship thank you
        • 5 Years Ago
        There are plenty of medications on the market to help you with that sleep problem and they have fewer side effects than a cargo ship in your front yard.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ok who wants to take a car carrier full of Audis and BMWs, Somali pirate style? I need a crew of 10. Apply now! We sail as soon as the new shipment of M3s and R8s sail from Germany.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Count me in! (I just want a BMW 135i).
      • 5 Years Ago
      On a serious note, you have to wonder what they think they're going to do with all these cars. If they sell a 2009 model in 2011 at a 50% discount are they really coming out ahead after storing it for 2 years? I think not. My guess is they're praying for a storm to sink these orphans so they can get them off the books. If they think the market is going to be back within 6-9 months so they can sell these things then they're just not paying attention.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll bet there are a few shopping malls around the country with some extra parking available. ;-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      In this harsh times I share the pains of automakers and thus would like to offer my garage to be the storage spaces for these unwanted products free of charge. Just a little gesture of 'thank you' for making our life much ...much better. I believe most of us here are willing to make that sacrifice.

      p/s: korean manufacturers need not apply. I hate you cars and will probably torch 'em if they ever come close to my house.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In 1987 I was looking at buying a new Renault 5 but the sales rep warned me off.

      Not a problem with the car per se but the seals could have dried out from sitting on the dock for so long. There's a reason why cars need to be "exercised"
      • 5 Years Ago
      You can park a few at my place... err... just leave the keys here if I have to move them or something alright? =D.
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