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Up until 2008, vehicle sales in the U.S. crested 16 million units for nine straight years. Though November of this year, sales were down overall to 12.35 million vehicles – 16.3% off the same 11-month period in 2007. There's no doubt that 2008's new car sales won't be anywhere near the 16.15 million units sold in 2007, and 2009 is sure to worse.

According to new information complied by the research firm CSM Worldwide; six-speed automatics will be the norm for domestic manufactures by 2015. Currently, the standard four-speed automatic has dominated the marketplace for the past several years, but as fuel efficiency becomes more of a factor in consumer purchases, the addition of two more gears will become a necessity to remain competitive.