Now we know why women are the fairer sex.
If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re male. If you aren’t, kudos to you for being a rare member of the female gearheads club. Fact is, it has always been a gender stereotype that men are obsessed with cars while women can pass Bentleys and Kias without knowing the difference. So you’d think that men would be the ones up in arms about the rapid switch from manual transmissions to automatics right? Nope, you and your stereotype-adhering self is wrong.
According to an analysis made by Swapalease, a company specializing in helping people trade their leases, men are ditching do-it-yourself shifting while the amount of women who are buying manual transmissions is actually going up. Cue the sad music because according to data, overall leases of manual transmissions dropped 22% from 2012 to 2015. Despite the drop, men still make up the majority of manual transmission owners. A steep 81.2% of clutch pedal-equipped vehicles were driven by men in 2015, however this is down from 85.4% in 2012. This means that between 2012 and 2015, the rate of female manual owners jumped from 14.6% to 18.8%. Does this mean that badass manual-loving women are infiltrating the car world?
We hope so, but this likely isn’t the case. In all probability, it also isn’t the general consensus that gender barriers are being broken down in favor of equality. The likely force at work is that as both genders migrate from rowing their own gears to being lazy and having the car do it for them, the diehard manual lovers are the only ones who continue to buy them. Believe it or not, but there are plenty of women who enjoy a driving experience that hasn’t been distilled by a slush box, and these are the ones who are sticking to their guns. The men who don’t care too much are leaving their stick shifts behind and formulating these results. The positive news to be mined is that men and women who love their cars need to stand in solidarity to save the manuals.