The Save the Manuals campaign appears to be failing. Americans are rapidly giving up on the clutch pedal, according to new study of over 50,000 leased vehicles from Swapalease. The research also shows that men are increasingly unlikely to row their own gears in comparison to women. Swapalease refers to this loss of interest as "manual drift," but that sounds more like something fun to do in a car with a clutch pedal to us.

The website, which acts as a broker for people trading leases, looked at data from 2012 to 2015, and the results were clear. The company found 3,102 leased manual vehicles in 2012 and 2,417 in 2015 – a drop of 22 percent. Men, though, are especially less likely to choose a model with a clutch. In 2012, 85.4 percent of manual drivers were males and 14.6 percent were females. By 2015, the figure for men dropped to 81.2 percent. Because the total number shrank over the years and males left them more quickly, the proportion of women who wanted to select their own gear actually increased to 18.8 percent for 2015.

There are undoubtedly good arguments to choose an automatic on leased vehicles. They are easier to use, and in today's world an automatic often has better fuel economy and acceleration as compared to a manual. Jeremy Clarkson recently penned an editorial where he supported the switch. He admitted using a clutch was great on the open road, but awful during a daily commute in heavy traffic.

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SWAPALEASE.COM ANALYSIS OF 50,000+ DRIVERS SHOWS MEN ARE LOSING INTEREST IN MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS FASTER THAN WOMEN

Cincinnati, OH (April 5, 2016)

At what rate is "manual drift" occurring in the American auto industry, and is there a difference between the rate of manual transmission use between men and women? Swapalease.com, the nation's largest car lease marketplace, recently analyzed over 50,000 driver records from its marketplace dating back to 2012 to uncover some interesting trends.

"Manual drift" is a phrase coined by Swapalease.com executives that addresses the slow sunset of interest in manual transmissions found in today's cars. According to analysis conducted recently by the company, the number of manual transmission vehicles driven by Americans has dropped roughly 22% since 2012.

Equally as interesting, the rate of drift isn't occurring at the same pace for men and women. In its analysis of over 50,000 vehicle records dating back to 2012, Swapalease.com has found that the rate of use is declining for both genders, but it is happening at a faster pace for men compared to women. In fact, the percentage of men driving manual transmission vehicles has dropped from 85.4% in 2012 to 81.2% in 2015. As a result, the percentage for women has responded by adjusting from 14.6% in 2012 to 18.8% in 2015.

Both genders overall are driving fewer manual transmissions during that time, but since the numbers for men are dropping faster, it has caused the percentage to actually increase for women.

"It's not surprising to see the sunset of manual transmission vehicles, particularly when you consider all the conversation around autonomous driving," said Scot Hall, Executive Vice President of Swapalease.com. "It's difficult to explain why men are drifting away from manual faster than women, but perhaps fathers teaching their daughters to drive still see a premium in teaching both driving methods today."


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