Originally Posted by Bob G
Wow, was your post timely. I'm in the hunt for a student's car for my son. Ideally a 2004 to 2007 Focus, hatch preferred but a sedan will work. 90k to 100k miles and between $5k and $6k. Lot's to choose from here in West Michigan...except...he would like a manual. From there it's down hill, almost nothing to choose from within a 150 or so mile radius. Most dealers here won't touch a manual trans car cause they have a hard time selling them. I'm thinking we'll have to zero in on one and do a road trip out of state.
That does sound pretty grim. In Canada manuals are definitely in the minority but you usually won't have to go to lengths that extreme to find them. Dealers even stock a few on the lots.
I'll keep driving the stick as long as we can but we might just have to accept the end of the manual eventually. Who knows, maybe in years past fan boys made a lot of noise about the end of the manual choke, manual ignition timing control, manual steering... etc.
One place I understand it to be pretty much gone is with heavy trucks in Europe. While rowing through 18 unsynchronized gears is a mark of pride for a north American trucker, its pretty well finished elsewhere.
In addition to stupidness and laziness in North America, I think another big blow to the manual car is that they no longer have a fuel economy advantage. Perhaps the final nail in the coffin.