How many new cars have manual transmission

## Manual Transmission: A Dying Breed in the Automotive Industry?


For decades, manual transmissions were the standard gearbox for cars. They provided drivers with a greater sense of control and engagement with their vehicles. However, in recent years, the popularity of automatic transmissions has grown exponentially, leaving many wondering if manual transmissions are on their way out.

Declining Popularity of Manual Transmissions

The decline of manual transmissions has been driven by several factors, including:

– Convenience: Automatic transmissions are easier to drive, especially in heavy traffic. They eliminate the need for drivers to constantly shift gears, reducing fatigue and distraction.
– Fuel efficiency: Modern automatic transmissions can actually improve fuel economy compared to manual transmissions. This is due to advanced electronic controls that optimize gear selection and reduce engine RPMs.
– Accessibility: Manual transmissions require a certain level of skill to operate smoothly. As the number of experienced drivers decreases, so does the demand for manual transmission vehicles.

Statistics on Manual Transmission Sales

The decline in manual transmission sales is evident in statistics from around the world:

– In the United States, less than 5% of new cars sold in 2023 had a manual transmission.
– In Europe, the percentage of manual transmission sales has dropped from over 50% in the 1990s to less than 10% in 2023.
– In Japan, manual transmissions are almost extinct, accounting for less than 1% of all new car sales.

Advantages of Manual Transmissions

Despite their declining popularity, manual transmissions still offer several advantages over automatic transmissions:

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– Control: Manual transmissions give drivers more control over their vehicles. They can choose the right gear for the situation, whether it’s for acceleration, fuel economy, or engine braking.
– Engagement: Shifting gears manually can be a rewarding and engaging experience. Drivers have a direct connection to the car’s mechanics, which can enhance the driving experience.
– Durability: Manual transmissions are generally more durable and reliable than automatic transmissions. They have fewer moving parts and are less susceptible to wear and tear.
– Cost: Manual transmission vehicles are typically less expensive than automatic transmission vehicles.

Disadvantages of Manual Transmissions

While manual transmissions offer some advantages, they also have some disadvantages:

– Convenience: Automatic transmissions are much more convenient to drive, especially in heavy traffic or for inexperienced drivers.
– Fuel efficiency: Modern automatic transmissions are as fuel-efficient as manual transmissions, or even better in some cases.
– Accessibility: Manual transmissions require a certain level of skill to operate smoothly. This can be a challenge for some drivers, especially those who are new to driving.

The Future of Manual Transmissions

The future of manual transmissions is uncertain. While they are still popular among enthusiasts and drivers who value control and engagement, their overall market share continues to decline. It is likely that manual transmissions will eventually become a niche option, limited to sports cars and other vehicles where performance and control are the primary focus.


Manual transmissions have been an integral part of the automotive industry for over a century. However, their popularity has declined significantly in recent years due to the rise of automatic transmissions. While manual transmissions still offer some advantages, such as control, engagement, and durability, their declining market share suggests that they may eventually become a thing of the past.

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