Did you know that more electric vehicles were sold in the US in 2019 than cars with manual transmission running on either petrol or diesel? Now that could either highlight the rise of EVs or the decline of manual transmission options. Or both. And now, in yet another example highlighting the latter, Jeep has reportedly decided to do away with the option of manual transmission in 2021 Compass.
According to a report in CarsDirect which claims to have had access to the order guides sent to dealers in the country, 2021 Compass will only be available with either a six-speed or nine-speed automatic transmission unit. The 2020 edition continues to also persist with a six-speed manual option but it may well be the end of the road for it.
It is hardly surprising that Jeep is possibly going down this road because the demand for cars with manual transmission has been dropping significantly in the US as well as in most other markets. Touted as a feature mostly reserved for the enthusiastic driver who would want complete control rather than convenience, manual transmission systems are finding only a niche segment of takers. And it may just not be sustainable to provide the option. Several car makers in the US have already dropped the stick in many models and now offer only products with auto options.
The trend is catching up elsewhere as well. While Europe is also seeing an unprecedented decline for manual transmission systems, developing markets remain the last bastion of sorts but even here, affordable pricing and development in technology which minimizes adverse effect on mileage are fast becoming factors for auto transmission options - one kind or another - being adopted.
In India, car makers have increasingly started adding auto transmission options to even lower variants of certain models. Companies like Hyundai and Kia have either started offering clutchless transmission or will shortly in upcoming cars. While options may be aplenty, there is hardly any denying that manual transmission systems as has been known for decades are now racing towards the sunset