Here in North America, you have to look really hard for a manual transmission in anything other than a sports car or econobox. We love our automatic trannys here, mostly because they're easy to operate and they tend to work better in traffic than a manual. Heck, an awful lot of people under age 40 don't even know how to drive a stick. In 2007, worldwide automatics will finally out-number manual transmissions. It has been that way here in North America and Japan for a very long time, but now in countries like China and India more and more drivers can afford an auto trans. Traffic is also more congested in those countries too, with more cars on the road.
In Europe, manual-shift automatics are aiding the transition away from manuals. They're sure to become more popular here in the US as well, which will cut down the amount of sticks in sports cars. The proliferation of CVTs, which get lower HP vehicles off the line a bit quicker than the standard automatic are helping the transition also. The writing was on the wall the minute you could get exotic European sports cars with paddle shifters.
[Source: Just Auto]