Automatic Transmission Ascends as Stick Shift Nears Extinction


Auto-mobile has been one of the most significant developments in the human history. From the very simple cars from the inception to the cars we have today, the auto-mobile industry has had a constant evolution. One of the constant things present in the cars right from the start has been the transmission. Manual transmission or as its commonly known, the stick shift has been industry standard for auto-mobile all this time.

Recent times however have seen a gradual shift from the manual transmission to automotive transmission. Manual transmission used to be a hit with everybody namely for its better fuel efficiency, good durability, low costs and greater driving involvement, especially for the driving enthusiasts. But as times have progressed, so has the technology.


The automatic transmission has seen constant improvements in the technology which is visible by the rise in demand for it and decline for manual transmission cars. What was once considered to be a skill to acquired has now been surpassed owing to factors such as technology, economies, regulation etc. The new automatics offer better fuel economy compared to the stick shifts which is one of the most prominent factors referred to when purchasing a car.

The auto manufacturers themselves see and feel the changes as can be seen by their adoption of the technology. The latest figures suggest that only five percent of the current manufactured cars come with manual transmission. The only place to find the stick shift now is the sports cars such as the Ford Mustang or Mazda Miata. The change can be seen in hyper cars such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Benz, as well who have mostly shifted to automotive transmissions.

“The trajectory is down, headed for zero”


The reason being that economically, it makes much more sense to opt for manufacturing automatics as people buying stick shifts have significantly dived and the ones still buying are in free fall. This leads to depreciation of the manuals as reflected in the resale value of the vehicles going for up to $2000 less compared to their automatic counterparts. The statistics show that about 47% of cars in the US in the year 2006 were offered in both, automatic and manual. That number has since fallen to 37% in 2011 and more recently 27% in 2016.

Choosing between the automatic or manual has now become a matter of choice. Occasionally, you may find a driving enthusiast opting for a stick shift but that’s the extent of it. The fact remains that as automotive transmission has surpassed its manual counterpart in many ways, people have opted to switch to them and what was once a standard equipment in cars all across is now on a steady decline towards complete extinction in future not very far.