Research: The percentage of new and used cars that choose stick shifts is rising.

The proportion of sales for manual transmissions is increasing thanks to young consumers.


It appears that Volkswagen made the incorrect choice when it decided to discontinue providing the Golf GTI and Golf R with manual transmissions. Even though they still account for a small portion of new car sales, stick shifts are becoming more and more popular, according to a recent survey.


Industry trade publication WardsAuto reported that stick-shifted vehicles account for 1.7% of new car sales in the US as of now in 2023, citing data provided by J.D. Power. To put things in perspective, 1.2% of newly sold cars in 2022 had three pedals, compared to 0.9% in 2021.


And it’s not just new cars. In the fiscal year 2023, CarMax sold 807,823 used cars; the company said that sales of stick-shift vehicles had climbed from 2.4% in 2020 to 2.9% in 2022. The retailer revealed, rather surprisingly, that customers in their 20s were mostly responsible for driving that percentage closer to 3%. As a result of a number of causes, including nostalgia and retro culture, customers have shown interest in manual-transmission automobiles, as regional vice president and general manager at CarMax Mark Collier told WardsAuto.


Not unexpectedly, a large number of drivers opt for a manual car because they find it enjoyable rather than cost-effective. The days of ordering a manual shift in order to save money are almost over because many reasonably priced modern automobiles, such as the Kia Rio, have two pedals as standard equipment. Manufacturers are pushing manual transmissions as the preferred option for enthusiasts more and more. The survey states that the Honda Civic, Ford Mustang, Subaru WRX, Jeep Wrangler, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Focus, and Dodge Challenger are the vehicles for which CarMax sells the most manuals.


Others still find the stick to be a sensible option.


“In addition, parents who are shopping for cars for their teenagers have informed us that stick-shifts are appealing because they require both hands, which may serve as a deterrent for texting and driving,” Collier said in closing.

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