MANUAL GEARBOX SALES DOUBLE IN THE US
Could auto-loving America be the market that saves the manual?
Conventional wisdom has it that three-pedal manual box is in severe decline, particularly at the performance end of the market. We've seen BMW moving in this direction even with the previous-gen E60 M5, and it's likely that even the bastion of hardcore driving pleasure that is the Porsche 911 GT3 could become a PDK-only affair in the future.
But while European enthusiasts appear to be relatively meekly accepting this change, it looks like it isn't washing in the US of A. In fact, if this year's sales trend continues it'll be the biggest year for manual gearbox cars as a proportion of vehicles sold since 2006, albeit quite a way of the 25 per cent market share manual cars held 20 years ago.
Still, it could be that the US has a particularly strong appetite for manual cars, especially fast ones. It is after all the only market that got a manual E60 M5, a trick that looks like being repeated by the latest F10 version of BMW's super-saloon.