Where Did All the Manual Transmissions Go?! | WheelHouse

Where Did All the Manual Transmissions Go?! | WheelHouse

(fast-paced bongo beats)
– Oh, wow.
A white guy with facial hair
on a car channel loves
manual transmissions.
What an original premise.
Hold on, hear me out for a minute.
I learned to drive in a 1986 Ford Taurus
that my grandpa gave me.
It had a two-tone paint job
and pretty much everything in it broke.
It even caught on fire at one point.
It had a five-speed manual
and it was fun as hell.
But there’s a big problem.
Manuals are going out of style.
In 1992, about 25% of car buyers
chose a manual transmission.
20 years go by and in 2012,
that number fell to just 6.8%.
In 2018, just 3.5% of buyers
drove off the lot with a manual.
As a result, car makers
started offering less cars
with a manual option.
In 2012, there were about 117 new cars
you could buy with a stick shift.
It’s not a lot, but not bad.
In 2018, that number fell to just 85 cars.
Still not great, but it could be worse.
And it did get worse.
In just one year, the number of cars
with a 2019 model year that you can get
with a manual is just 57.
That’s a 33% drop.
If the trend continues at this rate,
manuals could be gone in two years.
People are not happy about this.
You can’t go into a
comment section of a video
about a new car without seeing someone say
would’ve been better with a manual.
(overlapping voices) Would’ve
been better with a manual.
(whispering) No stick, no buy.
I’m gonna find you, Toyota.
I’m gonna come into your
house and murder your dog.
And you know what?
I don’t blame them.
Take the new Supra, the
highly anticipated followup
to the legendary sports car.
The Mark IV has a six-speed
and this new one doesn’t.
What the hell, Toyota?
Want another example?
The BMW 330i will not have a stick shift
in the US this year.
This is sacrilege
or is it?
There’s a reason automakers
are putting an end
to the manual transmission.
It kinda sucks.
Enter the continuously
variable transmission or CVT.
They aren’t like other transmissions.
They don’t really have gears.
It’s more of a belt
drive with two pulleys.
It’s kinda complicated
and I’m not that smart
but the main advantages of a CVT
are super smooth acceleration
and improved fuel economy
over any type of transmission.
I mean, the Williams F1 team
was testing a CVT back in 1993
and that’s when they were good.
Sorry, that was low.
So what would happen if an automaker
actually built a sweet car with
a manual transmission today
like people have been begging for?
How ’bout a four-door sedan with a big V8,
comfy seats, undercover
sleeper looks, and a six-speed?
Well, that did happen.
(funk music)
The Chevrolet SS debuted
in the 2014 model year.
They took a Holden
Commodore from Australia,
put some Chevy badges on it,
tuned the suspension a little,
and pretty much called it good.
Critics freaking love this thing.
Comparing it other sports
sedan’s legends like the E39 M5,
a car that has been haunting
my dreams for months.
I want one bad.
Anyway, the SS was the stuff enthusiasts
had been clamoring for.
It had magnetic ride suspension,
450 horsepower, a six-speed manual,
and, my favorite, cooled seats.
The SS was set to be an instant classic.
There’s only one problem.
Nobody bought one.
Over the SS’s four year production,
just 12,860 of them were sold.
Just for comparison, Chevy sold nearly
10 times as many Corvettes
in the same period of time,
while Honda sold 1.4 million Civics,
and Ford sold over three million F150s.
Long story short, the SS was not a hit.
Just for fun, I went
on CarMax to find an SS
and to my surprise, there
were three of them for sale
but none of them had the six-speed.
I cried for half an hour.
It doesn’t make financial sense
for them to build these cars
if no one is gonna buy them.
That’s just business.
So, why aren’t people
buying manuals in the US?
What makes this country different
from the rest of the world?
Besides automatics being smoother,
there has to be a good reason, right?
There are actually two.
The first is easy, convenience.
A lot of you probably daily a manual car
so you know driving stick in heavy traffic
is kind of a pain.
But if you take your
car out on the weekends
and hit the canyons, then the crappy-ness
of having to deal with that
is just part of the game.
But the average person
just isn’t like that.
They’d rather get in their car
and listen to Oprah
Winfrey’s Super Soul podcast
and drop me off at baseball practice.
The second reason is safety.
Now I used to think that driving stick
was the safest method because
it limits distractions.
It’s hard to text and drive
if you have to focus on your shifts.
I personally believe that driving manual
makes you a more focused driver.
But it turns out, that’s not exactly true.
A health science study at
Jonkoping University in Sweden
found that older drivers
had better reaction times
and make less mistakes
in cars with automatics.
When you combine that with
the fact that the age group
who buys the most new cars in the US,
35-54 year olds,
it’s not hard to see why people
aren’t buying new manuals.
Conversely, people aged 16-34
buy about half as many new
cars as the older group,
if they buy a car at all.
Companies are gonna listen
to who gives them money
so new automatics are pretty
much better in every way.
They’re more efficient,
safer for old people,
and shift super fast.
But just because it’s better
doesn’t mean the car is better.
There’s something about driving stick
that makes you feel more
connected to the car
than an automatic ever could.
And I’m not saying this to
talk down on auto drivers.
If you have fun with your auto,
that is totally valid.
I’ve had a lot of fun in automatic cars.
– [Zach] So you’re only saying that
because you drive an auto.
– No.
(door chime)
That (bleep) Lamborghini was really fun.
But I think a good analogy for
driving a manual is surfing.
I grew up about half
an hour from the beach
but never learned how to surf.
But a few years ago, I
actually got a lesson
and caught a few waves.
And that’s when I got it.
I understood why my friends would wake up
at 4:30 in the morning to catch a swell.
You’re both at the mercy of the ocean
and totally connected.
It’s a truly great feeling.
That’s what driving stick feels like.
If you’ve never learned,
I definitely suggest
you get a friend or relative to each you
’cause it’s the best.
So is the manual gonna die?
Maybe in new cars.
Also, electric is the future
and those cars don’t
need transmissions, so
But as long as gear shifters are around,
I’m sure there’ll be someone there
to shift them.
If this video gets
25,000 likes in 24 hours,
I will chug a gallon of milk in an hour
on a live stream.
They say it’s impossible
but I don’t believe them,
whoever they are.
My nickname in youth baseball
was the Milk Man, okay?
I can do it.
Thanks for watching Wheel House.
Follow me on Instagram @nolanjsykes,
consider subscribing to Donut right here,
watch last week’s episode
of Wheel House right here,
and check out this episode ep-i-sa-do.
You know you had that one friend
that says he can drive stick.
Share this video with people
who need to learn to drive stick.
Be nice, I’ll see you next time.

100 Replies to “Where Did All the Manual Transmissions Go?! | WheelHouse”

  1. i have got the luck that i live in the netherlands. most cars in the netherlands are stil manual. I even had my driving lessons in a manual in fact almost everybody in my country does. because if you have done your driverstest in a automatic you can't drive manual cars.

  2. My perspective is that most people here in the US have become so used to living such spoiled lives of instant gratification and laziness above all else and anything else out there that may require any real effort to learn how to use is looked down upon as inferior and useless. Ultimately, Americans think that everything should just be completely effortless where one doesn't have to even try in order to learn how to do the simplest of things because if it takes enough effort to force them to take their eyes off of their phone screen for more than a minute then it's too much effort or work involved and thus, seen as something too antiquated or obsolete for their tastes.

  3. the SS wasn't marketed, at all.
    that's why it failed, nobody knew what it was without seeing it at a dealer and being interested in it.

  4. In my country, the only ones who drive auto transmission are old people and soccer moms.
    And most of those automatics are crappy.

  5. Fuck going back to manual, aint got ti.e for that shit. Yeah when I was a kid I was all about the manual but I grew up.

  6. Manual transmissions are "not for Americans" as there are too many distractions in today's vehicles let alone time to shift a gear and of course the distracted moron next you in today's traffic. I will never forget Germany's autobahns and my 5 speed 2002tii.
    Now that's the ultimate driving machine experience.
    Badly trained American drivers will never have an Autobahn after all Europeans get required skilled driving classes. In America mom and dad pass on horrific driving habits.
    There goes your 5-speed!

  7. lf some one wants to sell a car with automatic transmission in europe its a problem most dont want them so we sent this thing to the lazy americans LOL

  8. Why would Americans want to drive a manual when they could just have their phone in their right hand the whole time, texting literally everyone, and playing phone games?

  9. shifting other then while racing or doing driving for fun is a chore A manual in traffic yeah no go fuck yourself sir

  10. As soon as I got my license, I bought a 5 speed. Proceeded to teach myself how to drive stick, and now I don't think I could ever willingly buy an automatic. I now look forward to traffic and steep hills. Plus its always nice when a date compliments your smooth shifts 🙂

  11. I am very inexperienced driver, therefore I would never buy an automatic t. I dont understand why so many newbies, esp fellow female ones, do that…thats so lazy. If you need practice in something, how is making it easy a good thing?:-D Hows it gonna make you understand, how driving freakin works, if you go straight for the automat.

  12. I'm just saying the manual will never die for example the Mustang Camaro and Challenger everyone that can get their hands on one that's a car Enthusiast will buy one and I already know it so really American cars are going to be the last ones to keep manuals and their work and then we're going to see a Renaissance of manuals after cvts start to break and get really unreliable while manuals are still liar and could be quicker than automatic soon if we go back to single clutch for the wait

  13. stick shift is alive and well in the rest of the world, but when majority of us citizens havent seen a stick shift in their life apart from in movies statistics talk for themself

  14. There is just something with a manual transmission car that you can not understand unless you get to drive one… the feeling is priceless… also dont forget that u can heel and toe in some heavy torqued sport cars which is just like heaven while downshifting… aaahh the feeling of it …!!! oooof !!!!!

  15. You buy more expensive the automatic, and you spend more to maintain it and broke down more often then anything else! Automatic and sensors sucks big time!
    Manual not gonna disappear soon…maybe just when we all gonna have to chose the electric cars

  16. World progresses… Automatic gearboxes are much more efficient and it is much easier to have 8+ gears on automatic gearbox then on manual.

    On the other hand, in maybe some 10 years, automatic gearboxes will be replaced with "gearless" eV…

  17. Automatics are unsafe in my opinion, especially the modern ones. They shift into too high of a gear for economy and cause the car the coast. In a manual, it’s always the appropriate gear, and you have engine breaking in an emergency situation. Autos are for lazy people only.

  18. It's all automatic transmissions now so that way you idiots can play with your phones and text message while you're driving otherwise you would have to shift a damn gear

  19. People who drive autos have no idea how fun it is to get out on a straight road and shift from 1st to 5th into oblivion

  20. You mention two reasons american cars are losing manual transmission then you end with a suggestion to learn from friends or relatives. You realize most people will not fork over $XX,XXX dollars for a vehicle that they don't understand how to operate and have a strong feeling they will break? This is a HUGE reason manual's are leaving the market. No one is teaching people how to drive them. You think my friend with his $XX,XXX manual sports car is going to let new guy learn how to shift on it? lol

  21. Actually the auto transmission is more easy to learn cause have to do nothing but just press the brakes and the gas and know how to cut lanes but in the manual transmission you should know how to put the gear. It's not just about putting the gear and BOOM just racing around, you have to make sure you don't let go of the clutch to fast or press the gas to much. So there's a lot to learn in manual transmission cars as compared to the auto transmission cars.

  22. A lot of people have knee problems – so manuals are out.
    A lot of people do work while driving- listening to meeting; dictating reports; learning audio tapes, planning their projects.
    A lot of people just don’t have the time.

    With technology changing so fast, a lot of people don’t want to keep/buy their old cars- why keep a car for +10years if the software for the head unit is no longer supported/ or obsolete. I have an old Benz, the nav doesn’t t work because they don’t support the DVD anymore.

    A auto is safer than manuals!.
    For a lot of people, their jobs, the economy is a big source of worry,; they can’t afford a V6/ V8 manual, they just want a fuel efficient reliable car to get from pt A to B. and get back to work.

    BTW: most likely another great recession will come soon.

  23. You buddy are stupid and your argument at 4:33 is bullshit. Please check ALL facts before you make statements.

    The study you cited marks as older participants people 70+ ("The older group’s mean age was 75.2 (SD = 4.9, ranging from 70 to 90 years") and as younger participants people 27 – 48 ("younger group’s mean age was 39.2 (SD = 5.2, ranging from 27 to 48 years"). The same study tell us that people between 27 to 48 years old make almost no improvements in driving behaviour.

    Give this thumbs up so he can see this and not repeat the same mistake in other videos.

  24. Had many manuals throughout my life, I don't miss them at all. We just bought a new car with auto transmission (DCS which is that new double clutch system thingo, not the old type which did fail regularly), so did two of our neighbours (I'm in Germany). Automatic is becoming more popular here, mainly because the traffic jam problems are getting worse each week, and also as people age they find it's a lot less strain for them than a manual (my hip hurts after about 10 minutes of constant pedal pushing). Spending two or more hours a day in crawling traffic is a nightmare in a manual, but in our brand new automatic tank with stop-and-go ACC it's a breeze.

  25. lazy ass humans dont drive cars… no they press buttons. IDIOCRACY
    motor fueled by homegrown flowerseeds and it spends all mile a drop of bullshit for villages with less shitty soil.

  26. Since the advent of automatic License in my country accident has been on the rise and traffic has increased significantly due to the vast importation of (mainly automatic) used cars from Japan.

  27. Moral: People are getting lazier year by year,justifying the quote,"Don't work hard,work smart"..which is not a really goid idea.

  28. Because you have super boring streets, the majority of countries in the US are flat as hell and there are no turns, that's why. Only California, Colorado, a little bit of Texas, Washington and Oregon have nice routes. I'll forget some states for sure but to me that's the difference, in Europe we have the Alps and a lot more mountains and b-roads.

  29. I learned to drive manual well after I was driving auto. Tbh I thought it was the most ridiculous thing but I understand why people do it. It is for the same reason I have a PlayStation 1 and still use to this day.
    I though it was funny when my gf tells me at least once a month that her car stalled during uphill slow traffic.
    Manual is old technology and simply inferior to auto.

  30. Don't forget paddle shifters. Ever since they cracked the code by adding a second clutch, it simulates all the fun of driving stick, but it's faster and more efficient, and when speed is your game, that's what you go for. Also, it IS impossible to drink a gallon of milk in an hour. Your stomach can only hold about two pounds of anything and a gallon of milk is at least 8.

  31. for example we old subaru fans have been bitching subaru for killing the manual gearbox…only available in the sti…for now…
    Subaru is kind of asleep..we old die hard subaru fans feel kind of forgotten.

    I want manual gearbox..frameless windows..turbo..i want the old subaru flavour that has been lost…lots of subaru fans are buying old used subarus cos they dont like the new models. That says a lot…come on subaru wake up!! You alreary got new customers now release something for the old fans. something with the classic subaru spirit that we all love. Don let it die.

  32. In Europe there is an opinion that automatic transmissions are for people that are really bad at driving so they buy a car where you only have to press gas and brake

  33. Well in Europe most cars are manual. Tbh never understand the idea of automatic, if a manual gearbox exist you won't see women(mostly) and men crashing because their foot stuck on accelerator due to lack of experience

  34. The whole “Auto is better than manual for traffic, but manual is better for sport” doesn’t hold water because North America is the only place where automatics are more prevalent, and car enthusiasts are a tiny minority of drivers. If it were true, then automatics would’ve taken over in places like Europe as well because of the convenience of people who don’t really care about enjoying their driving

  35. Its sad seeing american teens who cant drive manual. In Europe, you HAVE to learn drive manual or you cant get your license. Then if you want you can buy a manual car but you need to know how gears and cluch work

  36. Man this is a bad video,,, its only the us, you should mention it f the begin

    I think this American majority is to lazy and dumb to drive in a manual car,,,

    You made me think its not better fr a manual economically,, I like manual,,,. Cuz auto is to easy, easier than riding cycle fr the 1st time…. And i think car should be hard and serious,,.

    So your focus is 200 percent

  37. Honestly, cars with manual transmissions are the only cars that mostly ever appeal to me. Big problem with the Chevrolet was that in opinion, it wasn't advertised enough. So people had no clue it was even on the market. In the United States if you don't hold something right in front of their faces and show them its there. They usually don't even know its a real option.

  38. I'm from Brazil, and it's rare to find an automatic car around here. My dad is gonna give me a manual UTE as birthday gift. And it's a '94 Volkswagen Saveiro.

  39. thats all I used to buy was Manuals because they were cheaper and easier to repair if you had a transmission problem. now you can only get it usually in the SPORT model

  40. Just had my first ever non official father son driving lesson today, manual isnt that hard yo, i imagined it to be the hardest thing as a (younger) child but no, its muscle memory

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