Come on people, go out and buy more manuals!
We've all been told that the manual transmission is dying. Even in European countries like the UK, the popularity of the manual is dwindling as automatics and dual-clutches continue to improve. There are still people out there who only like to drive a car with three pedals, but the sales numbers show they are few and far between.
Toyota recently provided CarBuzz with its manual take rates across the brand, and even a model like the 86, a car arguably built for a manual, could only muster a 33% take rate. Since Toyota was so willing to show how low its take rates are, we reached out to other automakers to find out what percentage of their sales were manuals. Luckily, Genesis was eager to share.
For the 2019 model year, the Genesis G70 sedan is available with a six-speed manual paired with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, all of which goes to the rear wheels. The manual transmission actually comes as its own trim level, which also includes a limited-slip differential, summer tires, and Brembo brakes. With the manual, the G70 takes 6.6 seconds to reach 60 mph, which is brisk but not rapid.
Speaking to CarBuzz, Genesis Senior Group Manager Kevin Smith said, "looking at just the portion of manual sales across our G70 2.0T variants, because the manual is not available on our 3.3T variants, the 2019 year-to-date manual sales percentage is 4%."
This number feels pretty low, and it already factors out all of the G70's 3.3T sales. If the number was calculated for G70 sales as a whole, it would be even lower. Some people may argue that manual G70 sales are low because the Korean automaker chose not to make a manual available on the 365 hp 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 model, which has the performance that enthusiasts really crave. There may be a small sliver of truth to this, but it's not fair to criticize Genesis for offering a manual on only one engine when just 4% of 2.0T customers are opting for it.
Whether it is a mainstream brand like Toyota or a luxury automaker like Genesis, the proof is in the sales numbers. We've said it once and we'll say it again, the only way to tell automakers that people are still willing to drive manual cars is to go out and buy them brand-new. Otherwise, we wouldn't be surprised if Genesis decides to drop the manual G70 due to slow sales. Thank you, Genesis, we now know you at least tried to make enthusiasts happy.