Originally Posted by bugeye829
I don't think manuals will completely die off but probably only be available in base model economy cars to keep costs low
I'm even surprised that MTs are still offered in bargain base models today. In the past, more people drove MTs for performance but also for the value and incentive of higher mpg over the ATs. ATs where considered more "luxurious" but came at a cost. While ATs still cost more today from a MSRP and new technology cost point of view, the shear quantity of ATs that are made and sold (and because most ATs get better mpgs) should make producing a basic MT a wash.
The bargain base MT only idea seems like an old age American perception that car companies have. In my opinion, most people today interested in MTs do it for some performance or personal "feel" point of view and less about "value". For most, I don't see paying the extra $1k for an AT being such a burden as it once was and probably a benefit based on how cars are packaged these days.
Considering how MT take is so low anyways, lets consider the new Forester. Putting aside profit margins, how would total MT sales differ if the F2.5i was only available in a CVT and the FXT was offered in CVT and 6MT? And what if manufacturers started charging more for the MT over the AT/CVT option in more performance oriented applications? Note: I don't know these answers and like to hear other's thoughts. I'm not against ATs or DCTs.