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Old 04-28-2015, 10:12 PM   #11
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might be the weight,but I think it is just a case of supply and demand
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:34 PM   #12
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I'd never driven an automatic until we emigrated to the US (1968). Though they were easy to drive, gas mileage was an issue with the sloppy torque converters in the 1960's - 1980's. I've had a few stick-shifts (65 Cortina, 68 Rover 2000, mid-80's Renault 18 and an S-10 Chevy) and one "automatic stick shift" (a 1958 DKW - wish I'd kept that one!).

My wife has never mastered stick-shifting, so the family barges have always been automatics. They're so economical these days, I doubt there'll ever be a clutch pedal in my future!
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by F and E Damp View Post
I'd never driven an automatic until we emigrated to the US (1968). Though they were easy to drive, gas mileage was an issue with the sloppy torque converters in the 1960's - 1980's. I've had a few stick-shifts (65 Cortina, 68 Rover 2000, mid-80's Renault 18 and an S-10 Chevy) and one "automatic stick shift" (a 1958 DKW - wish I'd kept that one!).

My wife has never mastered stick-shifting, so the family barges have always been automatics. They're so economical these days, I doubt there'll ever be a clutch pedal in my future!
The early automatics were indeed "sloppy." The first one I drove was in a 1952 Chevrolet equipped with a "Blue Flame" six cylinder engine and the transmission was a "PowerGlide." Talk about sloppy and loose.

Remember in the early days of automatics that one of the first things they always said you needed to do was "adjust the bands."

We have come a long way.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:49 PM   #14
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I can drive a stick shift but when it comes to stop and go- manual transmissions SUCK.
Especially so in hilly territory.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:59 PM   #15
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It's about demand or lack of it really.

Here is a copy of an AP story from Sept 2014:

When Marlo Dewing went shopping for a car last year, she only had one requirement: a manual transmission.
"Any car that was only available as an automatic was a deal breaker," said Dewing, 44. "I love to drive. I want to know that I am actually driving, that I am in control of the machine."

That made her shopping list a very short one. Only around 10 percent of vehicles made in North America now have manual transmissions, down from 35 percent in 1980. And that number is expected to keep shrinking, according to the consulting firm IHS Automotive.

Improvements in the function and fuel economy of automatic transmissions have essentially killed the manual in the U.S., says Jack Nerad, the senior editor of Kelley Blue Book. Some of the country's best-selling sedans — the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion — don't even offer manual transmissions because so few buyers want them. Even some sporty cars, like the Jaguar F Type, come only with automatics.

Two years ago, Chrysler was burned when it assumed there would be higher demand for manual transmissions in its Dodge Dart compact car. The car sold slowly. This year, when Fiat Chrysler's Alfa Romeo 4C sports car arrives in the U.S., it won't offer a manual transmission.

When a manual enthusiast questioned that decision at a company event in May, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said U.S. demand for manuals is simply too limited.

"It's going to be you and four guys. That's my assessment of our market demand," he said. "I'll buy one too, but then it's only going to be six."

Manual transmissions — which allow the driver to select the gear — were the rule until 1939, when General Motors Co. debuted the automatic transmission in its Oldsmobile brand. Initially, automatics were much more expensive and got poorer fuel economy, so drivers looking to economize tended to stick to manuals.

But in recent years, those gaps have closed, Nerad says.
"The manual transmission has become kind of a dodo bird," he says.
Manuals no longer have a fuel economy advantage. The five-speed manual transmission on the 2014 Honda Civic sedan gets 31 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, for example, while a Civic with Honda's continuously variable automatic transmission — which moves automatically to the gear most appropriate for the car's situation — gets 33 mpg.

The price gap does remain. A Honda Accord with an automatic transmission costs around $800 more than a manual one, while drivers opting for an automatic transmission on a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray have to pay $1,725 more. But that doesn't seem to have stifled demand.

Driving enthusiasts like Dewing remain manuals' biggest fans, and ensure that some brands will continue to produce them. Dewing eventually settled on a 2012 Volkswagen GTI with a six-speed manual transmission. It's a 210-horsepower hatchback that's popular with enthusiasts; Volkswagen says about half the GTIs it sells in the U.S. are manuals.

Dewing, who has two daughters, says she'll teach them to drive on a manual. But Nerad isn't so sure. He taught one of his daughters to drive on a manual, but may not bother for his other two kids. Manuals are disappearing so quickly that they might not ever drive one, he says.
"Most advanced transmissions shift better than I would do," he says. "It's a natural progression.

The Luddites out there are decrying the loss of manuals, but I'm not shedding a tear."
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:35 AM   #16
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Old 04-29-2015, 01:25 AM   #17
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Interestingly, believe stick shift still dominate in Europe. Glad I could drive a stick ten years ago when I was frequently over there and renting cars.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
It's about demand or lack of it really.

Here is a copy of an AP story from Sept 2014:

When Marlo Dewing went shopping for a car last year, she only had one requirement: a manual transmission.
"Any car that was only available as an automatic was a deal breaker," said Dewing, 44. "I love to drive. I want to know that I am actually driving, that I am in control of the machine."

That made her shopping list a very short one. Only around 10 percent of vehicles made in North America now have manual transmissions, down from 35 percent in 1980. And that number is expected to keep shrinking, according to the consulting firm IHS Automotive.

Improvements in the function and fuel economy of automatic transmissions have essentially killed the manual in the U.S., says Jack Nerad, the senior editor of Kelley Blue Book. Some of the country's best-selling sedans the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion don't even offer manual transmissions because so few buyers want them. Even some sporty cars, like the Jaguar F Type, come only with automatics.

Two years ago, Chrysler was burned when it assumed there would be higher demand for manual transmissions in its Dodge Dart compact car. The car sold slowly. This year, when Fiat Chrysler's Alfa Romeo 4C sports car arrives in the U.S., it won't offer a manual transmission.

When a manual enthusiast questioned that decision at a company event in May, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said U.S. demand for manuals is simply too limited.

"It's going to be you and four guys. That's my assessment of our market demand," he said. "I'll buy one too, but then it's only going to be six."

Manual transmissions which allow the driver to select the gear were the rule until 1939, when General Motors Co. debuted the automatic transmission in its Oldsmobile brand. Initially, automatics were much more expensive and got poorer fuel economy, so drivers looking to economize tended to stick to manuals.

But in recent years, those gaps have closed, Nerad says.
"The manual transmission has become kind of a dodo bird," he says.
Manuals no longer have a fuel economy advantage. The five-speed manual transmission on the 2014 Honda Civic sedan gets 31 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, for example, while a Civic with Honda's continuously variable automatic transmission which moves automatically to the gear most appropriate for the car's situation gets 33 mpg.

The price gap does remain. A Honda Accord with an automatic transmission costs around $800 more than a manual one, while drivers opting for an automatic transmission on a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray have to pay $1,725 more. But that doesn't seem to have stifled demand.

Driving enthusiasts like Dewing remain manuals' biggest fans, and ensure that some brands will continue to produce them. Dewing eventually settled on a 2012 Volkswagen GTI with a six-speed manual transmission. It's a 210-horsepower hatchback that's popular with enthusiasts; Volkswagen says about half the GTIs it sells in the U.S. are manuals.

Dewing, who has two daughters, says she'll teach them to drive on a manual. But Nerad isn't so sure. He taught one of his daughters to drive on a manual, but may not bother for his other two kids. Manuals are disappearing so quickly that they might not ever drive one, he says.
"Most advanced transmissions shift better than I would do," he says. "It's a natural progression.

The Luddites out there are decrying the loss of manuals, but I'm not shedding a tear."
This is it right here. Manuals were generally stronger than autos, manuals got better mileage and they acted better while towing, but that's no longer true. Modern autos do very well, the Aisin in the 800+ ft-lbs Ram is proof of that.

I've said for years that real trucks don't have spark plugs or automatics. Between Ecoboost and modern autos I can't say that too much anymore.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:26 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
...there is an unbelievable number of people that have never driven a vehicle with a manual transmission.
In North America... the vast majority.
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by KenHwy61 View Post
Ram still has an available 6 speed manual transmission available with the Cummins. The engine power is derated when sold with the manual because the factory clutch can't handle the power without the computer managing the torque supplied to the transmission. I actually enjoy manual transmissions but my wife can't drive one so auto was the way I had to go.
It's not the clutch - the limitation is related to the aluminum case that houses the G56 tranny's internal workings. Aftermarket has stepped up with girdles that reinforce the case and allow the tranny to handle much more torque than is is available in the OEM config.
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