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Old 08-18-2018, 07:44 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Audi ditches manual transmissions in US because nobody bought them

Audi ditches manual transmissions in US because nobody bought them


The A4 and the A5 were the last holdouts, but the take rate for the stick shift was hilariously low.



No more manual Audis in the US? Ah, shift.

Audi will ditch the manual-transmission options in the 2019 A4 and A5, Car and Driver reports. Those were the last vestiges of Audi's manual transmissions in the US, so every single new Audi that traverses our amber waves of grain from here on out will swap its own cogs. That's a bummer.

But behind (most) every business decision is a good reason, and Audi's got one. You see, nobody bought the darn things. According to Car and Driver, the manual-transmission take rate on the A4 was a paltry 5 percent. Thus, it was probably costing the company more money to import the cars than it made back by selling them. So it goes.

While the 2019 models might not carry the manual transmissions, C/D points out that the 2018s still have them, and there are still plenty of 2018s on dealer lots. If you want to snag up a stick-shift Audi before they disappear entirely, there should be some solid end-of-model-year sales kicking off in the next month or two, so not only will you get one of the last manual Audis in the US, you'll get it for a song (hopefully).

The 2019 Audi A4 offers up a few changes in addition to ditching the stick. There are slight adjustments to the front and rear bumper, but everything else is the same. Euro-spec A4s get a bit more kit, including two new S Line appearance packages.

Source

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/a...smissions-usa/
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:10 AM   #2
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I would not want to shift an AUDI full time. I’ve driven friends and their shifters are horrible.
Gimme an S3 with a gas pedal, mods and I’m good.
Other cars? Gimme a shifter.
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:13 AM   #3
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Nobody bought them because they did not put them in their enthusiast cars. Which is the target market for people who buy manuals.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by thill View Post
Nobody bought them because they did not put them in their enthusiast cars. Which is the target market for people who buy manuals.
Yup. For all the brains at some auto mfrís, they arenít enthusiasts and just donít get it.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brahmzy View Post
I would not want to shift an AUDI full time. Iíve driven friends and their shifters are horrible.
Gimme an S3 with a gas pedal, mods and Iím good.
Other cars? Gimme a shifter.

Their early 2000s shifters were truely awful. My friend had an 05 A4 Quattro and it felt like I was shifting an arcade game. The A1 I rented in Scotland was much better, felt more like an Impreza shifter, but still wasn't great.
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thill View Post
Nobody bought them because they did not put them in their enthusiast cars. Which is the target market for people who buy manuals.
This ^^^^^. Many waited for the current gen A4/S4 to come with a manual. This pretty much puts those chances to bed. Ohh well, better off without a VAG product anyway.
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:03 AM   #7
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...Ohh well, better off without a VAG product anyway.
Truth!
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Old 08-19-2018, 12:07 PM   #8
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The endless debate will be won by the automatic fanboys. There simply wonít be manuals anymore. For a weekend car, Iíd want to row my own gears.

Fortunately, VAGís automatics are decent. But even their DSG will be gone in a few years.
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Old 08-19-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brahmzy View Post
I would not want to shift an AUDI full time. Iíve driven friends and their shifters are horrible.
Gimme an S3 with a gas pedal, mods and Iím good.
Other cars? Gimme a shifter.
Depends on the model honestly. I have a Mk2 TTRS and it's a dream to shift and toss around.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:56 PM   #10
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DSG can't stand up to modern slushboxes now for the vast majority of applications. The difference in performance is minimal, they are lower volume are more expensive to repair, and the take off and shift quality is much worse than an auto.
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Old 08-20-2018, 02:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thill View Post
Nobody bought them because they did not put them in their enthusiast cars. Which is the target market for people who buy manuals.
Manuals are in the same category as steelies. They're there to lower the base model's MSRP.
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:43 PM   #12
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I think manuals will soon only exist on strictly enthusiast cars and models in the 40k and below bracket. Too few Americans give a crap about driving engagement and the experience. Those who do pick up MX-5s, STIs, Twins, etc, and half of that demographic opt for the auto because they either don't know how to manual or want the user-friendliness of the auto (traffic, spouse, etc). A small sample can afford premium sports cars as a second car and it seems very few opt for manual options (TTRS, 911, Vette). I was blown away by how many people in Europe drive stick. In Scotland I saw a middle aged woman driving a newer 5-series diesel wagon in stick, pulling a camping trailer. That demographic just doesn't exist in the states.

A neat business to see develope in the US would be a company(s) that focuses primarily on transmission swaps for used cars. Building adapters, drivelines, kits, and so on for easier swaps in enthusiast cars that primarily or only came in auto. As someone who frequently window shops for used cars that I can't afford and have no room for, Ive seen that manuals versions of cool cars or those with potential always outsell the autos. I was trying to help my brother get a early tacoma 4x4 in stick. Every one that came up was gone in the same day.

I've grown to accept, begrudgingly, that manual dying out in most of the new car market in the US. So, hopefully a used car manual revolution will kick off. At least one can dream...
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Old 08-20-2018, 03:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemani View Post
Manuals are in the same category as steelies. They're there to lower the base model's MSRP.
I disagree with this blanket statement - Globally nearly 50% of vehicles are still sold with a manual; the US is the only market where they have truly gone out of favor. Although it's true that the manufacturing cost (and therefore MSRP) of a manual transmission is lower, that's not the only reason they exist. Manuals exist because there is still market share for them.

The fact that VAG can't build a smooth operating manual does not mean it's only there to reduce MSRP, it just means they are bad at building manual transmissions.
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Old 08-20-2018, 04:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemani View Post
Manuals are in the same category as steelies. They're there to lower the base model's MSRP.
Yup, usually found on the base models, then manufactures complain that nobody bought them
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Old 08-20-2018, 05:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dex View Post
I think manuals will soon only exist on strictly enthusiast cars and models in the 40k and below bracket. Too few Americans give a crap about driving engagement and the experience.
Agree.

But I will add that automatics have vastly improved, in such that they're more fuel efficient that the manual option. More gears, keeps the RPM's lower, abides more with CAFE and emissions standards, sucks less gas...and sucks to drive*.




*I threw that last part in there.

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Old 08-20-2018, 06:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Agree.

But I will add that automatics have vastly improved, in such that they're more fuel efficient that the manual option. More gears, keeps the RPM's lower, abides more with CAFE and emissions standards, sucks less gas...and sucks to drive*.




*I threw that last part in there.

More expensive, more to service, higher and more complex replacement cost. I'll still take the simpler solution.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:40 PM   #17
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Mercedes crushed it.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pre View Post
Yup. For all the brains at some auto mfr’s, they aren’t enthusiasts and just don’t get it.
Just a reminder that Mazda, Porsche, and BMW/MINI still get it.

Then there's wagons.. Nobody at the manufacturers understand wagons.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:47 AM   #19
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What's to understand? They're ugly and nobody in this country wants them.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:33 AM   #20
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What's to understand? They're ugly and nobody in this country wants them.
Hey! there are like, a dozen of us that like wagons; we are then split into 12 micro-niches that no wagon that could potentially be offered will ever meet the requirements of.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:02 AM   #21
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Why bother shifting a 2.0 4 banger in big heavy car ? Just buy the VW version for half price
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:38 PM   #22
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What's to understand? They're ugly and nobody in this country wants them.
See? Here's a guy that works for manufacturers proving my point.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:09 PM   #23
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Few stocked manuals, BMW made auto a no cost option on many models. That means your paying for the auto so take it
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:35 PM   #24
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Funny enough look at trade-in and resale value on enthusiast cars with manual vs automatic. Almost every time the manual has better resale and commands more on the used market.

Porsche has proven that enthusiasts still want their manuals. Yes the autos are faster and better with MPG but they can't offer the same engagement as a manual.
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Old 08-25-2018, 05:03 PM   #25
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Default Audi ditches manual transmissions in US because nobody bought them

^
Whilst not disagreeing with you, I wanted to commission a 2006 Corvette manual transmission. Corvette Mike in Orange County wouldíve reluctantly accepted the car on consignment for me. But the salesman firmly stated, the last C6 manual they sold took six months to sell. Apparently because of all the traffic in Southern California, the majority of Vette buyers arenít interested in rowing their own gears.

Which pretty much goes right in line with this article. My opinionÖ People are inherently lazy and want whatever is easiest, even if itís wrong!
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