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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Confessions Poll: What Will It Take To Convince You To Drive A Stick?

General Motors is laying off 150 jobs at an Indiana transmission plant. Why? GM cites a lack of demand for manual transmissions. In the United States only one in ten vehicles is sold with a manual transmission (that is a fact). I'm willing to bet another 10% or so of people know how to drive a stick, but don't (that is a guess). I'm betting 50% or more of American drivers have no idea what to do with a third pedal on the floor (both a fact and guess).

Which leads to a question I've been pondering: what would it take for you to drive a manual transmission? Three of my regular readers do drive a stick so I'm really asking this of everyone else. Some people prefer to drive a manual tranny (they prefer to control their vehicle vs. having some computer or automated valve control their vehicle). Some people are buying a more entry level car and don't wan't to pay the extra $800-$1,000 for an automatic. Some people want that extra 2 - 4 miles per gallon (at $2.50 a gallon I don't blame them).

If you're an automatic fan do you simply like the convenience? Perhaps you've never been exposed to a manual and have no idea what to do? Are you afraid of the physical coordination required by your body to drive a manual?

What do you think folks?

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