Why Are Cars with Manual Transmission Still being Manufactured?

How often do you hear that manual transmission is dying? Currently, the number of manual cars sold in the United States is less than 3% of the total car sales. Then, why are cars with manual transmission still being manufactured?

Once upon a time there as nothing but stick shifts and they are quite popular even 20 years ago. But, the skyrocketing popularity of automatic transmissions influences many brands to quit the production of manual cars. Many automobile industry experts have predicted that demise of stick shifts in the next 15 to 20 years. But, the interesting fact is a handful of renowned brands like Ford, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Mazda, Porsche, and others still produce some manual models. Why do these brands persist with the manuals?

The Possible Reasons Why Are Cars with Manual Transmission Still Being Manufactured?

The sales of manual cars are unlikely to gain the traction again but they are not going to extinct anytime soon, either.


It is because a small portion of consumers still enjoys driving manual cars. To them, choosing a manual does not depend on any financial or other factors. It is how they like to experience the driving of their cars.
Also, the following points contribute more or less to the manual cars. Why are cars with manual transmission still being manufactured? These are the reasons:

The Entry-Level Sports Cars

why are cars with manual transmission still being manufactured
Entry-level sports cars still demand manual transmissions. (Photo Source: topgear)

The buyers of these cars still want them in stick shifts. For example, 60% of buyers choose the Mazda Miata with a manual transmission despite the availability of an automatic version. The same goes for the Ford Mustang as it is Ford’s top-selling manual-equipped car despite offering an automatic model. Also, Ford chooses to keep the Focus RS and Fiesta ST full-manual and some other brands also follow the same route for some of the models. It’s safe to say that automakers are not going to give up on manual transmissions soon.

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Automatic transmissions have loads of fans and there are legit reasons for their popularity. But, their performance on smooth bitumen roads and off-road conditions is not the same. A highly uneven surface like rutted or muddy road confuses an automatic transmission. With the changes in the surface conditions, it keeps changing the gears continuously and cannot engage its full power.

A manual car is free of this trouble. You can drive it the way you want irrespective of the road conditions. Also, the automatics are less efficient than manuals in transmitting engine power to the wheels, which is a significant selling point for performance cars. The manuals offer more control, less power loss, and allow a drive to apply the driving skills.

Repair & Maintenance

why are cars with manual transmission still being manufactured
The maintenance is easier. (Photo Source: topgear)

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Wear and tear in manual transmissions is rare unless the car is too old or you run it without adequate oil. The clutch may show signs of wear over time but repair is easier and less expensive than servicing an automatic gearbox. With sufficient skills and knowledge, you can even do some repairs of a manual gearbox and clutch system in your garage but the automatic mechanism is more complicated.

So, why are cars with manual transmission still being manufactured? It is because they have some unique advantages over their automatic counterparts. They won’t go extinct until the automatics become easier to maintain and correctly determine the gear based on the road conditions ahead.