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Toyota Reveals How Many Manual Transmissions It Sells

Scoop / 17 Comments

Unsurprisingly, the number isn't very large.

It's no secret that manual transmissions are a dying breed, and many automakers refuse to even build them anymore. Even though enthusiasts love to claim they'd one car or another as long as it had a manual, very few buyers are actually putting their money where their mouth is, and the sales numbers prove it. Toyota is one of a handful of car companies that continues to offer a manual option on several of its cars. The Corolla sedan and hatchback, Tacoma, Yaris sedan, and 86 are still offered with manuals, but the take rates are very low. Speaking with Toyota at the launch event for the new Supra, CarBuzz learned just how low.

While sitting at dinner, the topic of manual transmissions came up and we asked to see exactly what percentage of new Toyota cars come with a manual. "I can find you that," said Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell, before showing CarBuzz an email detailing the breakdown of manual take rates across the lineup.

The Corolla lineup has the lowest take rate at less than 1%. With around 280,000 Corollas sold in the United States in 2018, this means less than 2,800 were delivered with a manual transmission. "It's not very high for the Corolla as a whole, but it is better if you just count the hatchback," Hubbell said.

If you only count the Corolla hatchback, which was developed with an all-new six-speed manual transmission, the take rate is much higher at 15%, though hatchback sales pale in comparison to the sedan. The outlook for manuals in the Tacoma and Yaris isn't much better, with buyers of both cars opting for them around 5% of the time. Since the take rate on the Mazda-built Yaris sedan was so low, Toyota decided not to offer the new 2020 Yaris hatchback with a manual option.

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Although the Corolla, Tacoma, and Yaris manual take rates are somewhat worrying, the 86 should make up for it...right? Well, we expected a sports car like the 86 to have a much higher take rate than the mainstream cars, but the number is only around 33%. This means two-thirds of 86 buyers are opting for the six-speed automatic in a car that desperately cries out for a manual. If you had any doubt that the manual transmission is dying, the proof is in the sales numbers.