More buyers, especially younger ones, are getting the manual option
Sales share has doubled in the last three years
Stick-shift sales are up! The manual transmission has made an about-face, and demand is now climbing instead of plummeting to zero.
That’s the latest information from J.D. Power and dealer Goliath CarMax, at least (via WardsAuto).
J.D. Power says that manual transmission vehicle sales have risen from a near-nothing 0.9 percent of total new vehicle sales in 2021 to 1.2 in 2022 and 1.7 percent so far in 2023. At CarMax, manual deliveries have recovered from 2.4 percent in 2020 to 2.9 percent in 2022. Not huge numbers, but something.
The Wards report says that buyers are no longer picking a stick to save cash, something that used to be the case. Today it is buyers interested in nostalgia, sporty vehicles, and there is a wave of 20-something buyers looking to give their left foot a workout in their ride.
Top selling stick shift cars include the Honda Civic, Ford Mustang, and Subaru WRX. The Jeep Wrangler is also a popular option.
One dealer told Wards that his store ended up with 46 stick-shift Kia Forte models at once. All but two sold in a hurry.
CarMax also said that parents buying a first car for their kids are leaning toward a stick. It’s tougher to text and drive when you need one hand on the wheel and one on the gearshift, plus the concentration that goes with it.