The take rate for manual transmission cars has gradually fallen off over the past 20 years or so.
With automatic transmissions becoming more refined and cheaper to produce, they’ve made the manual transmission nearly obsolete. Unless you’re an enthusiast that appreciates the engagement offered from rowing your own gears, it’s unlikely that you want a manual transmission. Even enthusiasts are slowly gravitating toward paddle-shifted automatic transmissions, which typically provide superior performance to manual gearboxes and can still be fun to drive with.
It’s no surprise, then, that US car retailer CarMax has experienced a sharp decline in the number of used cars it sells. In the early 1990s, over a quarter of the cars CarMax sold had a manual transmission. Today, just 3.7% of the cars it sells have three pedals. Plotting that data on a graph shows you just how quickly the manual has fallen out of favor in recent times:
There are still some US states that still love the manual transmission alive, however. CarMax also used its sales data to determine the states in which it sells the most manual transmission cars. We’re not sure why certain states may be more inclined to purchase manual cars, but the west coast seems to have a particular affinity for them.
You can view the ten states that buy more manual cars from CarMax than any other below, and feel free to let us know in the comments why you think some states seem attracted to the manual, whereas others seem to avoid them. Keep in mind that CarMax is not in all 50 US states and this is only the company’s data, so it’s not without its flaws, but we thought the results of the survey were still pretty fascinating. All of the data in this survey was compiled between August 31st, 2017 and August 31st, 2018.
About 4.48% of the CarMax sales between August 31st, 2017 and August 31st, 2018 in Massachusets were manual transmission cars, landing it 10th on the list.
4.55% of the CarMax sales in Nevada are for manual transmission cars – the ninth most of any state included in the survey.
With an abundance of nice weather, perhaps CarMax is moving more sports cars in Arizona and Nevada than elsewhere. 4.57% of its sales in Arizona are manuals.
7. New York
We’re not shocked to see New York on this list. The state likes its manuals, with 4.72% of CarMax sales there being manual cars.
Another state we’re not surprised likes their manuals is Oregon. CarMax says 4.81% of the cars it sells there are manual.
It’s no surprise that Washington, a state that loves its Subarus, also likes manuals. 4.87% of the CarMax sales done in the state are for manual cars.
CarMax says 4.94% of its Utah sales are for manual transmission cars, good enough for fourth among the states included in the survey.
3. Rhode Island
The north eastern state of Rhode Island makes quite the jump over fourth, with 5.16% of CarMax sales in the state for manual cars.
Idaho breaks into the top two with 5.29% of CarMax sales there being for manuals. Second for you, Idaho! You go Idaho!
1. New Mexico
And finally, the state that buys more manual cars from the used car giant that is CarMax, New Mexico. 5.65% of CarMax sales in New Mexico are manuals. We’re not sure why, but if we were a car enthusiast located in New Mexico, we’d be rather proud of our fellow motorists.