Welcome To The Island Of Misfit Luxury Imports…

If you’re looking for a photograph to illustrate how our economy has changed over the past few months, take a look at this. No, that’s not a parking lot in a town where everyone has the same taste. It’s the Port of Long Beach, where “thousands of cars worth tens of millions of dollars are being warehoused,” unwanted by the dealers who used to sell them. They’re imports — Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and Nissan orphans.

And its not just cars that are piling up. The port usually exports recycled paper. They send it to China where it is turned back into the boxes that you rip open during the holidays to reveal all sorts of consumer products. TVs, toys, video games. Whatever. But the demand is slowing. The paper is piling up…

Long Beach is an important port, particularly for the West. It is where imported products arrive and filter through the tributary of trucks, trains and retailers into the hands of consumers. But now, products are just sitting.

“We’re supposed to move things, not store them,” Mr. Wong said.

The NYT says this phenomenon is nothing new for Detroit — American cars are housed at the Michigan’s state fairgrounds and at its airports.

A Sea Of Unwanted Imports [NYT]