U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 08-12-2011, 07:27 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 38,313,006 times
Reputation: 16098

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
Do not forget the low prices compared to Europe. In Europe we must pay extra for an automatic. In America an automatic comes as standard.
That is certainly not true on all cars. The car I am looking at the automatic is a $1,000 option over manual.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-12-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 9,636,767 times
Reputation: 2819
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
Do not forget the low prices compared to Europe. In Europe we must pay extra for an automatic. In America an automatic comes as standard.
That's very inaccurate, many of not most cars in the US have autos as an added cost (aka: the manual will be cheaper), the difference is that several US branded cars don't come with a manual transmission at all, if they did though, they would likely be cheaper than their automatic counterparts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Again, I stand by my conviction that Americans drive automatics because they can afford them. In other countries, even developed nations, incomes tend to be lower, income taxes tend to be higher, and often car ownership is penalized with a number of taxes (fuel, import duties, green taxes, etc.) People buy what they can afford (or they think they can afford), and for Americans that tends to be a medium-sized car, SUV, or truck with automatic transmission, and for most others it is usually a smallish car with manual transmission. Many of the things Americans have taken for granted in cars for decades - things like air conditioning, cruise control, power windows - are still luxuries elsewhere or have recently become standard in vehicles. The United States is truly the land of milk and honey when it comes to driving.

Also, most Americans drive to almost every destination. Urban and suburban Americans spend a lot of time in traffic congestion. When you drive that much, a clutch becomes fatiguing, especially in traffic.

I've never driven a standard (car), but I have rode in them many times, and something I have noticed is some drivers (if not most drivers) never really master shifting. Riding in a standard car becomes like riding in an automatic with something wrong with the transmission.
Respectfully, your conviction is wrong.

In Europe there are plenty of countries with both higher average wages and more purchasing power (where you adjust for taxes costs etc.)

Plenty of people *do* buy automatics in Europe too, an increasing number in fact, but Manuals have a much stronger position, most likely because of the geography and the type of cars used. Cheap automatics are nut fun, they tap into the power, are unresponsive and expensive. A large part of the car market in Europe, due to the way that cities are built etc, is compact cars, where automatics tend to be annoying and manuals tend to add a lot of fun to the drive.

On the other hand, you have to look a decent amount to find a BMW 5 series in Norway for instance, without an automatic, trust me, I've tried.

In all other developed countries, all the comfort features you mention have been standard for a long time too, so that point goes out the window as well.

And the last "nail in the coffin" for your argument surely has to be that China and India are the fastest growing car consumers in the world and are quickly ramping up to compete to be the biggest market, almost all investments as far as sales go are being channeled into that market, luxury car makers such as Mercedes and BMW sell extremely well, so even in Chine, there are clearly plenty of people who can afford automatics.

Money has little or nothing to do with it. Infrastructure, history and the type of consumer matters far more.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,371,245 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
Do not forget the low prices compared to Europe. In Europe we must pay extra for an automatic. In America an automatic comes as standard.
In the US, we usually pay extra for an automatic. It very much depends upon the model of automobile.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,490,489 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
In the US, we usually pay extra for an automatic. It very much depends upon the model of automobile.
And by paying extra for an automatic, which is built in dealer profit, dealers mainly stock automatic equipped cars. Since they command a higher price, they tend to have higher resale value as well. Since people want a car with a higher resale value, they buy automatics. Since people buy automatics, they command a higher resale price. Since they command a higher resale price, people choose automatics, and the cycle continues ad nauseum.

Resale value is one of the bigger determining factors for people when choosing which car to get. Since teh average person isnt' a car enthusiast, and manufacturers are in busiess to sell to the larger market and make money, then they build cars with the options that ensure the most buyers., and the added value of resale values is a huge factor in that. Outside of sports cars, manual transmissions just don't add to the bottom line when it comes time to sell. And as far as a dealer is concerned, even on sports cars an automatic transmission means added profit (and teh buyer sees added resale value, again, repeating the cycle)
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: A bleak and gloomy place
5,044 posts, read 5,521,790 times
Reputation: 3811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
In the US, we usually pay extra for an automatic. It very much depends upon the model of automobile.
That is true.

Still, the extra cost is not that much (around $800-1,000 for many cheaper cars).
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,107 posts, read 34,371,245 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmptrwlt View Post
That is true.

Still, the extra cost is not that much (around $800-1,000 for many cheaper cars).
Oh, the cost can (and often is) much higher. For instance, the Ford Mustang's cost is much higher than 1000. The new Ford Fiesta; higher cost and a higher percentage of manual transmissions.

On the other hand, I've yet to see a manual transmission on a Lincoln
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 05:40 PM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 38,313,006 times
Reputation: 16098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatday View Post
For instance, the Ford Mustang's cost is much higher than 1000.
No it isn't. Unless you consider $1,195 much higher than $1,000.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 06:12 PM
 
Location: SW MO
656 posts, read 955,395 times
Reputation: 673
There are several reasons automatics are much more popular than manuals:

1. You have to pay attention to driving when you have a manual transmission car. This largely precludes texting, eating, applying makeup, playing with the navigation/stereo, talking on the phone, or reading the newspaper while driving unless you are cruising in top gear on the interstate. This is the #1 reason manuals are less popular.

2. It takes much more skill to drive a manual even if you do give driving your full attention. All you have to do to execute a perfect launch and shifts in a car with a slushbox is let off the brake and hit the gas. A five-year-old could do that. A manual takes practice to feather the clutch and throttle to get a smooth launch and not roll backwards on hills and to match revs to upshift/downshift smoothly. Considering that many people don't even pay attention to driving due to wanting to text and such, how many do you think would want to drive a car that takes even MORE attention and skill to drive? I'll give you a hint- cars with slushboxes outsold manuals 91% to 9% in 2010.

3. Manual transmissions have a rated lower towing capacity in pickups than automatics, since the manufacturers assume that people don't know how to drive a stick without burning up the clutch.

4. Automatics can be made to be column shift or console shift and require no direct linkage to the transmission, allowing designers more leeway for interior design. Manuals require direct linkage to the transmission and are all console-mount, which generally results in two fewer cupholders and no center console bin. I have it on good authority that some vehicles (minivans) sell based on crap like cupholder count and center console size, so a manual would be a detriment there.

5. Manual transmissions sometimes tend to be larger than automatics as manuals rarely have fewer than 5-6 gears, while there are a lot of smaller 4-speed slushboxes out there. Modern cars have the entire powertrain squished into a small space for aerodynamics, interior space, and fuel economy reasons (especially in FWD card), so a longer six-speed manual loses out to a smaller gas-eating four-speed auto.

6. Manuals are really associated with people who enjoy driving. Most people hate driving and just want to get from Point A to Point B with as little effort as possible.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,180 posts, read 57,317,340 times
Reputation: 52035
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
Mmm, she also has had only 8 or so cars since 1975, so I'm sure she has missed out on a lot of cars that are universally considered enjoyable.
Well, for me cars are transportation first and fun second. I average one new(er) car every 6 years (and since I'm in no hurry to get rid of my 2006 Mazda 3, that average will go up), and I only pick 'em if they're enjoyable to drive, and then only if its predecessor is ready to hit the junk heap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleet View Post
Maybe most manual transmission fans should agree (or admit) that there are plenty of cars with an automatic transmission which are fun to drive?
My '73 Mercury Comet. But then again, I learned to drive the automatic transmission like it was a manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyover_Country View Post
Manuals require direct linkage to the transmission and are all console-mount, which generally results in two fewer cupholders and no center console bin.
My Mazda has two cup holders in the center, and a bin.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 14,758,210 times
Reputation: 6644
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheViking85 View Post
In Europe there are plenty of countries with both higher average wages and more purchasing power (where you adjust for taxes costs etc.)
Norway is one of the few countries where that is true (though I've seen it actually lower than the states before, perhaps because of currency exchange rate issues). As for all the "big" European countries - the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, Germany - their standard of living is well below that of the U.S. Not to mention other places (e.g. Mexico) which are not even in the same class as the U.S.

Quote:
Plenty of people *do* buy automatics in Europe too, an increasing number in fact, but Manuals have a much stronger position, most likely because of the geography and the type of cars used. Cheap automatics are nut fun, they tap into the power, are unresponsive and expensive. A large part of the car market in Europe, due to the way that cities are built etc, is compact cars, where automatics tend to be annoying and manuals tend to add a lot of fun to the drive.
If constantly shifting in stop-and-go traffic is your idea of fun.

We have plenty of compact models and small cars (what you would probably call a medium-sized car) available to us, too, but they tend to be equipped with automatic transmissions. They also tend to have less displacement options, which eliminate the diesel engines and smaller motors. This is because of our higher incomes (than Europe as a whole) and especially lower tax rates (particularly on cars) we can afford larger displacements which are more amenable to automatic transmissions.

Quote:
On the other hand, you have to look a decent amount to find a BMW 5 series in Norway for instance, without an automatic, trust me, I've tried.

In all other developed countries, all the comfort features you mention have been standard for a long time too, so that point goes out the window as well.
OK, so virtually all cars sold in France or Germany (not Norway) have A/C, cruise control, and power windows / locks? I don't buy that.

Quote:
And the last "nail in the coffin" for your argument surely has to be that China and India are the fastest growing car consumers in the world and are quickly ramping up to compete to be the biggest market, almost all investments as far as sales go are being channeled into that market, luxury car makers such as Mercedes and BMW sell extremely well, so even in Chine, there are clearly plenty of people who can afford automatics.

Money has little or nothing to do with it. Infrastructure, history and the type of consumer matters far more.
China has a little over 1.3b people; India has almost 1.2b. Say the potential market for luxury cars is 0.5% in both countries, and 25% in Norway. 0.5% of 2.5b is 12.5m, and 25% of Norway's 4.8m is 1.2m. I'm sure BMW and Mercedes-Benz have a strong presence in Norway, and two emerging markets with even 12.5m customers are going to generate a lot of hype, particularly if they're large countries that have traditionally been in abject poverty. Still, even while absolutely large, the relative number of consumers of luxury cars in both countries is still extremely small. If any car is going to get Indian families off scooters and into cars, it's more likely to be this Tata 'NANO' - The People's Car from Tata Motors than this Mercedes-Benz S-Class . I'm sure the vast majority of the first cars are sold with manual transmissions, too.

I wouldn't disagree that those factors enter the equation, but money is certainly part of it in many, if not most, regions in the world. Also, the difficulty (and cost) of repairing automatic transmissions compared to manual transmissions.
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top