The Manual Transmission is Dead, and it’s Never Coming Back

For new cars and trucks purchased over the past 10 years, the manual transmission take rate has hovered around five percent. That take rate is only headed downward.

Imagine being a manual transmission in this day and age. Imagine how awful it would feel if only five percent of the new-vehicle-buying public wanted you. Who wants to be that unpopular?

It’s a good thing manual transmissions don’t have feelings because if they did, they would cry “nobody loves me!”, and then crawl into a dark corner and die. Actually, I’m inclined to believe they do have feelings because, boy oh boy, are the manuals dying.

It’s been about four years since an F-250 or F-350 has rolled off the assembly line with a manual. For half-ton trucks it’s been a bit longer.

Even though you were able to get a five-speed manual transmission in an F-150 up until 2008, you were forced to pair it with the depres sing 202-hp 4.2L V6, so for all intents and purposes, rowing your own has been dead in the F-150 since 2003; the last year you could get a V8 with a stick.


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