Print 86 comment(s) - last by Apone.. on Aug 6 at 1:01 PM

Don't call it a comeback...

Many automotive enthusiasts have been lamenting the fact that automakers are starting to shy away from the manual transmission. Most automakers cite that take rates for manual transmissions are in steady decline. This is due to several factors, one of which being that many modern automatic transmissions now get better fuel economy than manual transmissions thanks to having more forward gears.
Some sports car companies are sticking with the manual transmission and are actually adding gears, such as Porsche. Porsche unveiled a seven-speed manual transmission for its sports cars not long ago.
While Porsche is sticking with the manual transmission, BMW has announced that it is axing the manual as an option for its M5 and Audi has discontinued manual transmissions in some of its vehicles in Europe.
According to, the manual transmission has made a slight comeback this year. According to statistics put together by the website, 7% of all new cars sold in 2012 are equipped with manual transmissions. That is a massive decline from 20 years ago when one out of every four cars sold had a manual transmission. However, 7% is much higher than the 3.9% take rate for manual transmissions last year. 2012 is on track to be the year with the highest rate for manual transmission vehicle purchases since 2006.
"A combination of factors - from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road - is creating a small spike for stick shifts," says Industry Analyst Ivan Drury. "But even though manual cars are on the rise now, they're on track to be virtually extinct in the next 15 to 20 years." also reports that 64% of all 2012 model year vehicles are only offered with automatic transmissions. Ten years ago, the number of vehicles that weren't available with the manual transmission was must lower at 48%.
It's worth noting that some sports cars are only offered with manual transmissions, including the Audi TT RS, Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Fiat 500 Abarth, Ford Shelby GT500, MazdaSpeed 3, and Volkswagen Golf R.

Source: MarketWatch

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RE: Not much point really.
By bobsmith1492 on 8/2/2012 1:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
I just had my wife's Accord auto trans fluid flushed for the first time at 175K miles. No issues with it yet. My Bronco II manual is still all original at 23 years, 130K miles.

My theory is the way you use the car drives how long it lasts. Popping or riding the clutch, mashing the gas on your auto, things like that wear out the mechanicals faster.

RE: Not much point really.
By Reclaimer77 on 8/2/2012 1:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, 90% of ALL transmission failures are caused by overheating. And how does a trans overheat? The fluid breaks down. It might not happen today, or tomorrow, but if you keep neglecting your maintenance something WILL happen that could have been prevented.

I don't understand this...pride, for lack of a better word, at rolling the dice on poor maintenance practices that some people have.

RE: Not much point really.
By Spuke on 8/2/2012 3:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
We change the auto tranny fluid in our truck once a year. Tranny fluid is cheap, transmissions are not.

RE: Not much point really.
By JediJeb on 8/2/2012 6:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
Just watch the seals on that Bronco II transmission, especially near the shifter. I had a friend who had a ranger that started leaking there and eventually his transmission died. Same thing can happen with the M5 transmission on 90's era F150s.

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