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The shift is on: Manual transmissions may be endangered but they're also beloved

The tween riding in the back seat finally asked, “What is that thing you keep moving up there?”

She had never seen “that thing” known as a six-speed stick shift, a manual transmission, a manny tranny, a handshaker, a Millennial theft deterrent. To her it was a relic, an oddity, a rotary phone thingy.

Manual transmissions account for just 2 percent of all vehicles sold in 2018, according to data from In 2006, 47 percent of new models in the U.S. were offered with automatics and manuals. Now it’s down to 20 percent and dropping sharply.

“For automakers it will be simpler when the manual dies,” said Ivan Drury, senior analyst at

But not for automotive enthusiasts.

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