Why US car buyers ignore the manual transmission
3:12

Why US car buyers ignore the manual transmission

Cars
[MUSIC] Hey folks, Cooley here with another one of your emails about high-tech cars, and modern driving. And this one comes in from Neal H. Who's asking me to go where I dare not tread. To reopen that can of worms of automatic versus manual transmission. But hey, I'm stupid. I'll go there. Neal asks "One of your previous videos shows a manual transmission take rate will be about 5%. However, the take rate is closer to 45% in other places in the world. Why such a discrepancy? It's not like the US is the only place with rush hour traffic. Neil, you're absolutely right. Why wouldn't the rest of the world want an automatic for the majority of their tedious commute? Let's look at some of the reasons, and these are long-standing ones that are a fascinating story. First and foremost, It's cost, if you take a look at many parts of the world, let's look at Brazil, for example. Four of their bestselling small cars, automatic transmissions are gonna cost between $1,000 and $1,300 more, converted to US, then a manual transmission model. This is in a country where the average net take home pay, I think it's around US $7,000 or $8,000. So that's an enormous amount of money for a little bit of convenience, so right there that's a deal ender it's a big economic impact in many regions of the car buying world. Then you've got an area of culture, in the US we tend to look at our cars as kind of like rolling sofas to be honest, we're a very lean back bunch of drivers. We get distracted we're looking for entertainment. We just wanna put one finger on the wheel and just drive that thing to work back and forth. I see it little different culture in most other countries I visit and I think we've all experience this. Well, a lot of drivers on other regions are more forward more lean forward more engaged and the manual transmission kinda fits that better then he got this area of capability. There's a huge swath of Americans who don't know how to drive a stick, and worse, don't know anyone who knows how to drive a stick at this point in history. The last person they knew who knew how to use a clutch might have been their grandfather, who's dead. So it starts to die out as a skill that's passed along or that is reasonably common. And to be honest that's a big part of why consumers buy anything. It's that it's conventional and common and the stick sure ain't that. And finally efficiency is an issue. For many decades in many parts of the world except the US you had. Vehicles that had very small engines. They were taxed for having large engines, or using too much fuel, or emitting too much C02. And those regulations continue to this day, and manual transmission's efficiency. That little extra bit of it. [INAUDIBLE] Efficiency was a key component to having a car that was easy to live with and affordable to live with. Today the automatic transmission has less of that issue. I put that at the bottom of the list as a result. Today's automatics are really efficient. They're really Really quick, they shift beautifully, they're very crisp. So a lot of this has kinda died away, and that's why you saw, as you mentioned, that in 2018, it's expected that only 45% of the world is gonna get a manual transmission. That's a very different story than a few decades ago. [MUSIC]

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