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Why so few economy cars with manual tranny?

bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
edited March 25 in Toyota
Have you ever noticed how nearly impossible it is to find one of these vehicles with a stick? Frankly, I don't understand why they're so rare. These are precisely the vehicles you want equipped with a manual tranny. In a vehicle with as little spare power as these have, you want as much power being transferred to the drive wheels as possible, and that's accomplished with a manual. Sticks are also more fuel efficient, which is the main reason for these vehicle's existance, isn't it?

I realize more people prefer automatics to manuals, but I don't believe the numbers are nearly as overwelming as is the ratio of autos to manuals produced. I believe if the auto makers built more, they'd sell more. The only reason I believe they don't sell is because they aren't available.

When I bought my Corolla stick, it took me 2 months to find it, and even then I was dam lucky to be the first person who called the very honest and decent previous owner because 2 people had offered her the full asking price between the time I called and the time I was able to go look at it. She turned them down because she promised me first chance because I was the first caller. Lucky for me she did.

Granted, this was a used Corolla, but even if you log onto autotrader.com and look for new Corollas and Yaris' with manuals, they're extremely hard to locate without having to travel long distances to get one.

If you haven't figured it out by now, I probably wouldn't own one of these cars equipped with an auto. Manual tannies last longer than autos, they're more fuel efficient, and they're just plain more fun to drive. And yet Toyota (as well as others) have decided they're only going to put a manual tranny in 1 out of every 10 (or fewer) of their vehicles that are available with manual trannies. I'm not following their logic, and frankly it makes me pretty dam upset! Does this thinking make any of you throw up your arms and say what the he11!
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Comments

  • lhansonlhanson Posts: 268
    I think that you are about right when you say 1 out 10 Yarii come with MT, but I think that is more like 1 out 100 with the Corolla. Most dealers will have an occasional MT Yaris in stock, but I came across one dealership that won't stock MT Corollas, because they claim they can't sell them anymore. If you want one bad enough though, you can find it. Most people just take what is available because the EPA mileage on Yaris is only 1 MPG better on the highway and identical in town.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    My brother-in-law sells Toyotas and he says on the rare occassion where he does get an MT Corolla, he can't keep it on the lot.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    Why? Because in the USA, most people want auto everything! They also want to be able to yak on the cell phone, eat, read, do makeup, etc. I think the main reason is that people feel that they should have auto everything, not just in their cars, but everywhere!! And since people are willing to spend extra money in the USA to get auto everything, then manufacturers mostly stock automatics.

    The second reason is because fewer and fewer people know how to drive a stick, and the number of people who can will continue to decrease. So why stock something that most cannot drive?

    Third, I think Toyota (and others) are only making manuals to advertise a low price - then, when the person comes in to buy, they decide to spend that extra $1,000 for an automatic.
    MPG is only better by 1-3, so this is not too much of an issue anymore, but the manufacturers get to advertise their higher manual MPG, not the autos.

    Bottom line: Toyota and the others make more $$ by selling autos, because that's what "we" want. If you really want a stick, order one. It will take longer, but is it worth the wait? I think so.

    Finally, although a FEW people disagree, MOST people, including you, recognize that manuals are more reliable, even if you have to replace a clutch. And SOME people think manuals are more fun to drive!

    Also, look at Toyota's target market for these cars - young people that probably cannot drive a stick. The other market is older people, and this group probably has driven a stick long ago, but has no desire to any more.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    ....MOST people want autos, but I don't believe the percentage is 99% or higher as the build numbers might suggest. I believe the manuals don't sell because they don't exist. If they were available, people would buy them. I'm not saying 50% of them should be equipped with manuals, but I don't think 25% would be too many. They would sell. My brother-in-law says he gets a lot of customers coming in looking for Corollas or Yaris' with a stick and they end up having to buy one with an auto because the manuals just aren't available.
  • Just my 2 cents based on what I have seen with the new 2007 camry. Dealers have tons of auto camry's of all models, and one or 2 base CE's to advertise starting at xx,xxx. I went to a major large volume dealer in MD and they didn't have 1 manual camry for me to test drive. Another just had 1, and after talking with the sales guy, he said it's been on the lot for a few months, as it was one of the first they received of the new model (around april)
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    If 1 in 10 yaris' have a manual, and 1 in 100 Corollas are a manual, then the Camry must be about 1 in 1000. Manual Camrys are EXTREMELY rare. I guess I wouldn't have such a problem with the rarity if I mainly purchased new vehicles. If I wanted one badly enough, I'd just order it the way I wanted it. The problem is I mainly buy used vehicles and you can't just order what you want. You have to search for it, and in my case, I have to search, and search, and search.......That's what ticks me off about the rarity of manuals.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    Manual Camrys are available, but, yes, they are rare. My local dealer had one CE, and it sat on the lot for months! I would love to know who bought it, and I would bet that it was a dealer trade, because there was likely someone looking for one elsewhere that could not find the ONE that was available in the Midwest!!
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    ...these manual equipped cars sit for so long on the dealer's lots (if they actually do) isn't because they have a manual tranny. Maybe it's because they're base models with no options. We all know how literally NOBODY wants these vehicles. If these were LE models equipped with manuals, they'd probably be selling as fast as the automatics.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Posts: 1,667
    That might be a small factor, but for the Camry, the CE has power everything except seats and keyless entry. Other than that, it is pretty well equiped compared to the LE. I also remember years ago a Corolla LE manual, similar to mine except no ABS. It sat on the lot for months too.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    ...there are that few people who want manuals.
  • we have had two echo's with standard trans. we first had a new 2000 echo with 5 speed & had ac ,ps , am/fm cd, cruise. we got 57mpg one time on road trip. but average was 44mpg to 50mpg. we now have 2004 echo with 5 speed. bought it used with 19,000 miles. it has ac, ps, am/fm cd, cruise, & remote locks. it gets only 40mpg to 45mpg on hwy. 5 speeds are not that hard to find in the south.they have a few opp.to not striped down models. let me now if your auto trans. gets that kind of mpg. love are go cart car. echo's have pep with the 5 speed trans.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    One trip with my Daughter's Tercel (which was mine then) I got 52 MPG, and it's a 4 speed manual. Speed has A LOT to do with your fuel economy. That trip I was averaging between 60 and 65 MPH. Most people these days drive 70-85 MPH which really hurts mileage. Most cars achieve their best fuel economy at around 55-60 MPH. I would guess my 5 speed Corolla would get 43-45 MPG if I were to set the cruise right at 60 MPH, but I normally drive 75. It still gets 40 MPG at that speed. Like many others, I just don't have the time to do 60 MPH.
  • Interesting title, eh.

    2006 Corolla LE Manual.

    Driving from Telluride to Denver -- 322 miles, I used exactly 7 gallons. 46 mpg on the dot. I had one adult passenger and luggage. Speed ranged from 50 to 80, averaging 70. Maybe there was a tailwind. I doubt the total elevation lost of 3000' made a difference.

    I love this car!
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    That's probably the highest mileage I've heard of anyone getting with the Corolla. That's excellent! I'm gonna make another run Monday and check my mileage again. Last time I got 40 MPG @ 75 MPH with the A/C on with the outside temp at about 84 degrees. I just replaced the tires and now it may be cool enough where I won't have to run the A/C. This time I'm going to set the cruise at 70 MPH. I'm shooting for 41 or 42 MPG. We'll see how it goes.
  • When I found my 96 Corolla DX back at the end of May, I was ecstatic that not only was it a stick shift, but had all of the major options. I don't understand the lack of stick shifts that are available. And it does seem that the new cars that are stick shift are base models with little or no frills. I frequent the car lots in my area about 2-3 times a month. Very rarely do I see a stick shift. Even in sports cars like the Mustang, the majority on the lot are automatic. I think that part of the problem is just the lack of people learning how to drive stick. I remember from drivers ed. in the mid '90s the was a small chapter on how to drive a stick. I don't know of one person who has learned to drive a stick by reading only. It does make me mad knowing that because I live for and love stick shifts, my selection of cars is greatly reduced. And I also don't generally buy new cars, and finding a used manual car is hard. Anyhow, that's my two cents worth, and I'm glad this topic was brought up!
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    ...of sticks on the dealer's lots has less to do with demand and more to do with the auto makers wanting to streamline their production lines. If an auto maker could get away with building just one model, in one color, all equipped exactly the same way, they would do it. Why? Because their profit margin would be much higher doing it this way rathing than having to build 10-12 different models, make them available in array of colors, and each with several different trim levels. All of this slows down the production line which costs them money. Remember when you could order individual options on a new car? Those days are long gone. Now if you want power door locks, you have to purchase an option package and you have to pay for things like power windows, power mirrors, etc, to get the power locks even if you don't want the other options. This streamlines the production line AND makes them more money while offering less choice for the consumer.

    Back to the autos vs manuals thing. Do more people want autos than manuals? Sure, but I don't think the ratio is 100 to 1. I would say 2 or 3 out of every 10 people would buy a stick if there were more available, but because they aren't, they settle for an auto. The 100 to 1 ratio of autos to manuals typically seen with the Corolla is your auto makers hard at work taking away our choices. They only want to provide what the majority wants, and they expect the rest to compromise.
  • the reason that theres more autos? the cost more. pepole might want manuals, but they WILL buy autos, and automakers know that. if youre willing to spend more money, theyre not gonna argue that.

    that being said, i guess i was extremely lucky to find my manual yaris hatch. it was litterally rolling off the truck when i got there back in, eh, i guess april or so, and i picked it up immediately.

    btw, is there anyway to check, via vin number or something, what number in the production line my vehicle is? i really have to believe that its one of the first 500, maybe even 100
  • Good luck! Let us know how the trip goes, Bott. Oh, no A/C on the whole trip when I got 46...

    And yep, the dearth of a manuals is due to the greater profit in autos (cost, economy of scale on the supply chain) and the lack of demand in the U.S. Most of us Americans are too dang lazy to drive a stick. It's fine with me that our stick was passed over on the lot for a few days-- the thing is a blast to drive.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,028
    ...my previous best MPG figure by getting 40 MPG, but the test was tainted. I had to unexpectedly put a mix of highway/city driving on the first 50 miles out of this tank full, and it was also too warm to be able to not run the A/C. I used 6.4 gallons to go 258 miles. I had the cruise set at 70 for all the highway miles. I should be able to make an untainted run sometime later this month, all highway miles, and no A/C. I expect to see at least 41, and hopefully 42 MPG. The more I drive this car, the more I like it!
  • I FINALLY got my 5 spd Chevy Prizm (read Corolla twin) I've been looking for for months. If you think finding a manual Toyota Corolla is hard, try finding the Prizm. It's cheaper and has the same components but the Corolla outsold it 5:1! I ended up settling for a black one, which was my least favorite color, but I was just happy to finally get my 5 spd!
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