Our friends over at Ford Truck Enthusiasts recently wrote about the impending death of the manual transmission, with only 5% of new cars and trucks purchased in the last 10 years having a good ol’ stick shift.
It seems that number is only going to decrease as manufacturers decide to produce fewer models with manual transmissions and in some cases eliminate them all together.
FTE seems to have found an answer as to why people are opting for automatic transmission in a forum post from user Frdtrkrul.
My issues [with manual transmissions] are that different clutches engage at different points, or various manufacturers make you do something really dumb to get into reverse. VW makes you push the shift lever down to get the transmission into reverse. In order to get the key out of a Saab’s ignition, the transmission has to be in reverse. Manuals are not very user friendly for new people to drive them. I love manuals to death, but my good Lord, they are a pain in the ass to learn. There are too many variances in where the clutch grabs, or different shift patterns to learn.
I’m having trouble with the complaints listed by Frdtrkrul because these are all things that you only need to learn once. It’s like learning to ride a bike. No one was born with the innate ability to ride, but we all managed somehow. And let’s not even talk about learning to use cell phones, tablets, computers, etc.
To me, the unpopularity of the manual transmission is more an indicator of how lazy we as drivers have become and how dependent on technology we are. I would much rather be on the road with a new driver that’s struggling with a stick shift than a seasoned driver that’s eating, texting and grooming in a car with an automatic transmission.
I think we all need to #GiveaShift.