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American Automobile Glut? Unsold Cars Are Piling Up

The Stewart Chevrolet Cadillac dealership in Colma, Calif.
The Stewart Chevrolet Cadillac dealership in Colma, Calif.Photograph BY David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Even with U.S. car sales zooming along, there are some signs automakers might be stepping on the gas a little too hard.

Some 3.27 million new cars are now sitting on lots across the U.S., more than there have been in almost five years, according to Automotive News. That’s a lot of cars—just enough to equip every man, woman, and child in the state of Iowa with a new vehicle, and just slightly less than the number of iPhones added to Verizon’s network last quarter. A year ago at this time, by contrast, there were 2.7 million vehicles lying in wait across the country; summer 2011 saw an inventory of about 1 million fewer cars.