When the Toyota Supra came out with an automatic-only transmission, every “enthusiast” on the planet cried “Where’s the manual!?” without thinking for a second about how hard it actually is to sell a car with a manual transmission these days.
That’s especially true for Toyota; if you ask them, it’s next to impossible.
Let’s start with the 86, which is Toyota’s sportiest car. Just 33 per cent of buyers opted for the manual transmission in the compact coupe, which means two-thirds of buyers still went for the six-speed automatic.
The 86 is one of the most affordable sports cars you can buy today, and if 66 per cent of people buying one still go for the automatic, it paints a pretty bleak picture for the transmission as a whole.
Toyota also offers a brand-new manual transmission on its redesigned Corolla hatchback; the six-speed unit makes for a fun little city car at a cheap price, but do you think that’s enough to get people to buy the three-pedal? Nope. The take rate for the manual Corolla hatch is just 15 percent. If you expand the sales to include the Corolla sedan, then the numbers drop to less than one per cent.