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Autos to overtake manuals

Wed, 28 Feb 2007

By Jack Carfrae

Motor Industry

28 February 2007 07:39

Automatic transmissions will finally overtake manuals as the top-selling gearbox choice in 2007.

Autos have been long established as the more popular option Stateside and in Japan, but it seems that Europe has now finally caught the two-pedal bug. With the ever-increasing popularity of semi-automatic gearboxes (Tiptronic, DSG, CVT and a whole flood of other acronyms), it isn’t hard to see why.

They might weigh and cost more, but buyers love them, according to new research by analysts at They forecast that automatic gearboxes will account for just over half of all sales this year, pipping manuals to the post by just a few units.

But autos are set to continue their stronghold and are likely to hog almost 70% of the market by 2014. This is still largely due to the massive demand for autos in the Japanese and American markets. But the cost of autos has tumbled in Asia and the growth in congestion elsewhere is helping make more drivers take the lazy option and switch to an automatic.

Are you surprised that autos are overtaking manuals? Will drivers of the future still remember the fine art of clutch control? Sound off by clicking the ‘Add comment’ button below

By Jack Carfrae