Is This The End For Manual Transmission Vehicles?
In the past, a true car lover would have a manual transmission and enjoy the power of manual shifting gears to suit the driving need. Automatic transmissions were considered slow, clunky, unreliable and expensive. However, now, automatic transmissions are lightning-quick and super-smooth, making for a really enjoyable driving experience, so does this mean the end of manual gearsticks?
The Decline Of Manual
In the US, where automatic transmissions have long been favoured, only 41 out of the 327 available new car models come with a manual transmission option. When you consider that in 2011, 37% of all new vehicle models had a choice for manual transmission, now, just 12.5% of vehicles do.
In the UK, by contrast, has had a long, favoured history with manual transmissions. However, in recent years, the manual option has fallen out of favour with motorists. The number of manual transmission vehicles purchased has dropped considerably. Automatic gearbox sales have seen a 70% increase in the last decade.
The Rise Of Automatic Transmissions
It is not hard to see why automatic transmissions are growing in popularity. For a start, there is improved fuel efficiency and greater reliability with new automatic transmissions. With little difference in price for new automatic or manual gearboxes, but with a more cost-effective fuel economy, it is easy to see why automatic transmissions are becoming the gearbox of choice.
There are also plenty of other benefits that include advanced safety systems and innovative technology such as adaptive speed control, and autonomous emergency braking.
Furthermore, it is now too expensive for many vehicle manufacturers to other a manual transmission alternative. When we consider how hard Coronavirus has hit the car manufacturing industry, many carmakers will be looking to reduce their costs where they can, and manual options may be what is sacrificed.
Is There A Future For Manual?
With the advanced electrification of vehicles, automatic transmissions seem like the better option. This means that many car buyers are moving away from manuals to cars that offer more functionality and better features. This means, unless something drastic happens, the chance of a comeback for the manual transmission is slim while the future looks very bright indeed for automatic gearboxes.