The Manual Transmission Is Dead, and It’s Your Fault

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2008 Ford F-450 Chassis Cab XLT Interior - Manual Transmission Stick Shift Home 2

Recently, I wrote about production of the new 2016 Ford F-650 and F-750 with a small footnote mentioning that the trucks wouldn’t be offered with a manual transmission. Many of you fixated on that statement, crying foul and claiming that medium-duty trucks NEED a manual transmission to handle hauling big loads. Some of you even claimed that Ford doesn’t know anything about towing. The fact of the matter is the manual transmission is dead in many trucks, and it’s your fault.

F-650/F-750 at Ohio Assembly Plant

Well, maybe not you specifically, but it is the fault of buyers. Ford is in the business to make money, and they make the most money by offering the customers what they want. Customers vote what they want with their wallets, and they vote for automatic transmissions nearly every time.

The fact is, Ford would offer a manual transmission if it was profitable for them to do so. Being a publicly traded company, their in the business to maximize shareholder value and increase profits. If they could offer a manual transmission, even at a premium price, and remain profitable they probably would.

2015 Ford F-250 Super Duty King Ranch FX4

Face it, nobody wants manual transmissions anymore. In the case of the medium-truck trucks, they can be equipped with a crawl gear to assist the special 6-speed automatic transmission. That transmission is NOT from the Super Duty and has been specially designed for towing and hauling the loads medium-duty trucks need to haul. Ford engineers have figured out how to make their automatics hold gears and do all the things you’d do with a manual transmission.

Modern day automatics are more fuel efficient than manuals, and don’t suffer from the parasitic losses they used to. For many people, including fleet buyers, the automatic is the choice they make. The customers have spoken, and they’ve almost unanimously voted to kill the manual transmission.

What do you think? Let us know in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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