Autos gaining on manual
Cartell.ie, Ireland's vehicle data expert company, has reported that an increasing number of new vehicles are being sold with automatic transmissions in Ireland.
Data compiled by Cartell.ie shows that, in 2015, 106,837 new vehicles were sold with manual gearboxes in Ireland, while 18,831 were automatics; that represented an 83.7 per cent share of the market for manuals, with 14.7 per cent for autos (the remainder being other types of gearbox like CVT, which we would class as automatic, too).
But, by 2019, 36,286 vehicles sold in Ireland were automatics, while there were 77,183 new sales of manuals, changing the split to 66.8 per cent versus 31.4 per cent manual-to-automatic. Indeed, in terms of sales in 2020 so far, the split is less than 2:1 - 25,474 manuals have been sold, compared to 14,166 automatics.
Cartell.ie posits that the increase in popularity of automatic gearboxes is because more manufacturers offer the autobox as standard in many new luxury cars, where a manual is no longer desirable. Autos are normally an expensive option on cars where a manual transmission is standard, but they are considered as easier to drive by customers, while there are now negligible environmental differences (in terms of fuel economy and CO2 emissions) between the two transmission types.
Furthermore, most electric vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) come with automatic transmissions as standard.
John Byrne, from Cartell.ie, said: "It's interesting to see how popular automatic transmissions have become. Automatics are easier to function, and many current variants are incredibly intuitive and add positively to the driving experience. The days of the manual are not gone but remember that EVs generally require automatic transmission, so as we phase towards EVs we can expect the growth in automatics to continue."
Weirdly, this trend towards autos does not include imports, where 319,951 imported vehicles (cars only) coming into Ireland were manuals, while just 104,323 were automatics - a ratio of 3:1 in favour of manuals. Currently, all of Ireland's fleet of vehicles is split 2,624,504 manuals and 489,414 automatics.
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