There was a time when everyone learned how to drive a stick shift, otherwise known as a manual transmission. It’s a bit nerve-wracking at first and there’s not a person alive who has tried without grinding the gears and stalling once or twice. Still, we learned. Manuals are falling out of favor, but their waning popularity is stronger in certain areas of the country.
A recent CarMax survey analyzed data to see where most stick shifts are sold. To give you an idea of how unpopular they are these days, only 3.7 percent of cars sold through CarMax have a manual transmission. Ouch.
To put that number in perspective, take a look at the popularity of other features in our cars. Features like a third row, remote start, and a panoramic sunroof are all more popular than the good old manual transmission.
So, a teeny tiny number of manual transmissions are being sold, according to CarMax. Automakers are building fewer of their vehicles with manuals, too, but where are people still buying these cars?
You might think there’s a certain region where they’re most popular, but it’s a pretty mixed bag. At the very top of the list is New Mexico while at the bottom of the list you’ll find Illinois. The saddest part is that even the most popular state posts an abysmally small number with only 5.65 percent of cars purchased coming with a manual transmission.
Finally, CarMax analyzed which cities had the highest number of manual transmission sales. The top spot went to El Paso, TX with 6.09 percent while Birmingham, AL came in at the bottom of the pack with just 1.98 percent.
Data doesn’t lie. Manual transmissions are on their way out. Even high end sports cars are getting rid of them in favor of paddle shifters. While you can still find them and they aren’t gone completely, at this rate they’ll be a relic in no time.
If you know how to drive one, then you can count yourself in the minority. If you like driving one, then enjoy it while it lasts.