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CARS OVERFLOW PORT OF HUENEME SLUMPING AUTO SALES KEEP VEHICLES SITTING NEAR FACILITY.

Byline: Gregory J. Wilcox, Staff Writer

In a visible reminder of the steep decline in new-car sales, thousands of vehicles bound for dealerships in Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region,  and beyond are instead stacking up in vacant lots around the Port of Hueneme.

Storage space near the busy commercial port is filled to capacity with shiny new cars and trucks, and hundreds of BMWs are parked on the tarmac at nearby Camarillo Airport Camarillo Airport (ICAO: KCMA, FAA LID: CMA) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) west of the central business district of Camarillo, a city in Ventura County, California, United States. .

"Everyone is having the same issue. Sales are off and inventory is up," said Michael Wynn Song, senior vice president for Oxnard-based Global Auto Processing Service Inc., which handles vehicles made by General Motors, Hyundai, Kia and Saab.

The port is one of the West Coast's main import-and-export sites for vehicles and rolling stock rolling stock

Any of various readily movable transportation equipment such as automobiles, locomotives, railroad cars, and trucks. Rolling stock generally makes good collateral for loans because the equipment is standardized and easily transportable among
 like farm equipment. The cars arrive on cargo ships operated by four shipping lines, but don't stay at the port very long.

"Cars move off the port rather quickly. We're not jammed up as the first point of rest because then you couldn't take any more vessels," said Anthony J. Taormina, the port's executive director.

Many automakers have seen their sales plunge by 40 percent, with unsold vehicles remaining on dealer showrooms and lots. But factories are still at work, and vehicles rolling off assembly lines are backing up at transport-company lots near the port.

GAPS usually stores the cars on 111 acres leased from the U.S. Navy at its Port Hueneme Port Hueneme (wī'nē`mē), city (1990 pop. 20,319), Ventura co., S Calif., on the Pacific coast; founded 1870, inc. 1948. It has an artificial deep-sea harbor and is the site of a huge naval construction-battalion (Seabee) center.  base. With 23,000 vehicles filling that facility to capacity, the company leased additional space at the recently closed Cars 101 lot in Oxnard and at a closed recreational dealership nearby, Song said.

The company has had to store as many as 2,500 new cars at the backup sites - where security has been beefed up - although there were just 1,300 in those locations on Friday.

Song said that distributors began needing spillover spill·o·ver  
n.
1. The act or an instance of spilling over.

2. An amount or quantity spilled over.

3. A side effect arising from or as if from an unpredicted source:
 space several months ago.

"The have cut their production numbers, so we don't have as much coming in as we did a couple of months ago," he said of manufacturers.

Many of the vehicles arrive at the port on ships operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is a privately-owned Norwegian/Swedish shipping company, co-owned by the two shipping companies Wallenius Lines and Wilhelmsen Lines.  based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company is the world's largest transporter of new vehicles from the factory directly to showrooms.

And the cars are not getting to their final destination as fast as they used to, said company spokesman Jonathan Spampinato, who is based at the WWL's U.S. headquarters in Woodcliff Lake Woodcliff Lake may refer to:
  • the town of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
  • Woodcliff Lake Reservoir, located in the above town
, N.J.

"In general, we're certainly seeing a buildup of cargo through the supply chain, and we expect that will continue to be the case until supply and demand are more balanced and consumer purchasing picks up," he said. "We're definitely seeing a similar situation on both the East and West coasts."

Last year, WWL WWL World Wide Lexicon
WWL Working Load Limit
WWL world wide localization
WWL world wide language
 moved 4.3million cars, trucks, tractors and other rolling stock through the port, down slightly from 2007, he said.

The auto industry remains under pressure, but there was a bit of encouraging news Friday. The Edmunds.com's sales forecast Sales forecast

A key input to a firm's financial planning process. External sales forecasts are based on historical experience, statistical analysis, and consideration of various macroeconomic factors.
 calls for new U.S. auto and truck sales to total 859,000 units, an increase of 0.5 percent. But sales will still be 31percent under those of a year ago.

Nevertheless, at the current rate the industry would sell 10million new cars and trucks this year, better than the 9.1million expected two months ago, Edmunds said.

"The industry is slowly picking up much-needed momentum, but there is still a lot of risk," Jesse Toprak, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis, said in an e-mail.

The port is also feeling pain from the auto sales Auto Sales

The major producers of domestic automobiles report sales monthly. These numbers are seasonally adjusted by the U.S. Department of Commerce and are available to the public one to five business days after the end of each month.
 slowdown. The port measures rolling stock imports and exports in metric tons, and during the just-completed first quarter traffic fell 48 percent to 6,129.60 metric tons from 11,694.86 metric tons a year ago.

Taormina, the port's executive director, estimates that the auto sales slump has cost the facility about $700,000 in revenue so far.

"We get paid when the cargo comes across the docks, so when there is no cargo there is no payment," he said.

Officials at the Port of Los Angeles The Port of Los Angeles is located on San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood of Los Angeles, approximately 20 miles (30 km) south of downtown. Also called Los Angeles Harbor and WORLDPORT LA , which has a storage facility for Honda vehicles Honda produces the following automobiles, motorcycles, mopeds, and aircraft. Car models

  • Acty
  • Accord
  • Airwave
  • Ascot
  • Ballade
  • Beat
  • Caren
  • City
  • Civic
  • CR-X (a.k.a.
, said they did not have a backlog problem.

But Hueneme is going through the same things that happened at the Port of Long Beach last December with some Toyota and Mercedes-Benz vehicles, said spokesman John Pope There have been at several notable men named John Pope:
  • John Pope (politician), (1770–1845), U.S. politician, senator for Kentucky, Governor of Arkansas Territory
  • John Pope (naval officer), (1798–1876), U.S.
. There were enough of those models backed up to cover about 50 acres at Pier S.

"It started to ease up," he said. "You see a lot fewer cars out there."

greg.wilcox@dailynews.com

818-713-3743

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

(color) New cars delivered to the Port of Hueneme sit in an overflow lot in Ventura. Because of slumping auto sales, cars brought to the port aren't being delivered to dealers as quickly, and the port has had to lease more space to deal with the backup.

Michael Owen Baker/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 27, 2009
Words:824
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