08-06-2012, 10:37 PM #1
Stick shift popularity increases in 2012 - Just temporary spike?
The manual transmission is an endangered species and on its way out. Manufacturers are switching over in drover to automatics and dual clutches with 7, 8, and even 9 speeds. Porsche seems to be the only manufacturer clinging to the manual offering a 7 speed and continuing to make it their primary option in their sports cars like the GT series. BMW is already giving up with the manual in the M5 and has not offered a manual in the rest of the world for the past two generation M5's.
Insideline reports 7% of new cars sold in 2012 have a manual versus 3.9% in 2011. This is an interesting development but we would like to see the number at the end of the year. If it continues, this will be the highest number of manual cars sold in a year since 2006 reversing a downward trend.
The report concludes that even though this is nice to see the manual is likely to be virtually extinct in the next 15-20 years. We will likely always seen them in special applications but in consumer cars the manual is simply on its way out. We would like to see enthusiast cars continue to offer it at the very least as an option.
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08-12-2012, 10:06 AM #2The Maddog Himself
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I agree that manuals are dying for normal people. Most normal people, think typical Camry or other soulless washing machine driver, doesn't know how to drive stick. They are also pussies who are afraid to learn. since they are the vast majority of buyers, manuals are in big trouble.
The other big trouble is enthusiasts who care a lot more about lap times than the driving experience. If you think a manual can lay down a faster time than a good dual clutch box, you are wrong. Of course the washing machine guys will think they have an automatic and not know the difference, which is a shame.
All that being said, I think there will always be a small enthusiasts market for manuals and I hope they continue to be offered as an option. I know I would gladly pay more for a manual than a dual clutch box. Its not rational, but if we were rational we would all drive camrys.