Last post on Sep 02, 2013 at 8:37 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
What is this discussion about?
Ford Focus, Ford, Car Buying, Future Vehicle, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
#117 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [shipo]
Feb 26, 2011 (10:03 am)
Can you provide a reference for your numbers?
Here's what one source says on the subject (emphasis added by me), from a year ago:
The ability to drive a car equipped with a manual transmission is becoming a dying art. The sales numbers tell the story: In 1985, according to Ward’s Communications, 22.4% of all vehicles sold in the United States came with a manual transmission. By 2007, the number had plummeted to 7.7%.
A quick check of vehicles for sale on AOL Autos tells a similar story. Of the 4,391,747 vehicles recently listed for sale, only 241,560 -- or 5.5% -- came with a manual.
Another reference, from last November:
Even though manual transmissions have been in decline for decades, a new EPA report shows that 6.7% of new vehicles sold this year are equipped with a stick. Sadly, it's the highest percentage in the last five years .
So it looks like sales of MT cars is more like 6-7% in the USA, not 10-12%. The good new for MT fans, the number of cars sold with MTs crept up a bit last year. But still a very small segment of the market. If Ford et. al. see that there is an increased demand for MT cars, especially well-equipped MT cars (which is what I think your complaint is about, since you CAN get the Focus with an MT, just not in the higher trims), they will offer them. Again--they want to sell cars.
So you and others who want an MT in a high-end Focus: write to Mr. Mulally, and tell him you really, REALLY wanted to buy a Focus SES with a stick, but you couldn't, therefore you bought X instead--AND FORD LOST A SALE, AND A CUSTOMER. If they get enough letters like that, they'll do something about it.
#118 of 1324 Looking at this makes me feel...
Feb 26, 2011 (5:42 pm)
Red is nice but that Goldfinger color is more what I want. I will hold out for what I want and ya know, when I look long and hard at the 2012 Ford Focus hatch or sedan, transmission doesn't matter. I'll buy their 6-spd. automatic "dual-clutch" DSG transmission with the little flicker on the gearknob to change "gears."
I can say it doesn't matter because my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS is still glistening and glowing Rally Red in all its glory and it has paddle-shifting fan-boy fun factory-installed. And here's the gist of this post, carlovers.
It doesn't matter! It's the body of the car that matters more than the transmission to me. Having said that, I respect those that it does matter to.
That's what helps form us as individuals. We have noses and we have opinions. We vote with our pocketbook and Mr. Mulally is first a businessman. I used to work way underneath him at The Boeing Company. He will do what it takes to make money, not please the rabid enthusiast. backy has it right and I also understand that.
Having said that, I can still insist on ordering a 2012 Ford Focus SE hatch or sedan that only has a 5-speed manual tranny and is loaded with a nice stereo, regular old climate system and no SYNC or anything else and I would be happy as an Ocean Shores clam over here in the northern Idaho panhandle. That's the beauty of this-Ford still has left an option for us to buy stick in our '12 Focii! I consider that good news, but, to me, transmission doesn't make the sale. The car does.
It's not even the carmaker that makes the sale to me. It's the particular car model I want to buy that sells itself. By the time I decide what I want all the salesperson has to do is provide the exact copy of '12 Focus I want.
Sheesh...it even looks hot in silver
Boeing...I mean Ford blue is always nice
A 2012 Ford Focus SE Hatchback rides on 16-inch wheels and starts at $18,065. | January 27, 2011 | Ford Motor Company
Crikey! Look how good this 2012 Ford Focus SE hatchback looks with the smaller 16" wheels and the Boeing...I...I mean Ford blue color. And I like the wheel design and...one can order one of these with the Ford 5-speed stick transmission. Am I missing something here? $18,065? What's not ta like here?!
This find is starting to solidify my 2013 Ford Focus SE hatchback purchase plans...and I might just insist on a Ford 5-speed shifter, too. Why not? Whoo-hoooo boys! This car is the way to go back to buying American and still do so with pride and respect. Period.
No Al Gore GW speeches required. No all-electric car purchase ahead. Just plain old 5-speed American Focii gleaming bright in the sun. I feel a release of pent-up car buying dilemna tension...sort of like the feeling I get when I know for sure the dorky LA Lakers have been beaten by the OKC Thunder in the 2011 NBA playoffs.
Life is once again good.
There's also a five-speed manual, but with just the five cogs and a flaccid clutch it's not really optimized for either performance or fuel economy. It's more of a value proposition on the low end of the price scale, which explains why it's confined to S and SE models.
The above is from an Inside Line article here on Edmunds on January 27, 2011. This is why many will not go for the new Focus manual tranny and this is why my test drive takes on even more importance. A shoddy shifter will kill a 2013 Ford Focus SE hatchback in Ford blue, 5-speed manual tranny and kickin', competent AM/FM/CD stereo with bass-boost. This should all be there for around $20,000 before tax and license or I'm walking back out to the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS in Rally Red and CVT automatic tranny, thumpin' stereo, not to pass go or even collect a big bag of Dots for the ride home.
#119 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [shipo]
Feb 28, 2011 (9:37 am)
"Hmmm, when I bought my Mazda3 (yes, with a stick), I saw a 2010 Mazda6 on the floor with a manual transmission. I just checked the Mazda-USA web site and see that this car is still available with a manual transmission (albeit in el-strippo/4-banger trim only). "
Sorry, should have clarified the trim. The Mazda6 I had was indeed the S model with a V6. Pretty much all of the mid-sized sedans still come with a 4-banger and a manual transmission option of some kind. I don't think any of them offer the MTX with a V6 or better anymore. Mazda used to, Honda used to, and Nissan used to. I think they've all quit offering it by now.
I really liked that Mazda6 but the Mustang deal came along and was too good to pass up.
#120 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [baggs32]
Feb 28, 2011 (11:49 am)
For cars of roughly this size class, the only games in town with anything more than four cylinders seems to be BMW, and Mercedes-Benz (3-Series and C-Class). Given that Ford is going back on their word to bring us the European flavors of the Focus, I'm looking up-market once again.
#121 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [backy]
Feb 28, 2011 (11:55 am)
While I don't have numbers at my finger tips that contradict what you've posted, your numbers are so vastly different that what I've seen up to this point I really have to call into question their accuracy.
As for the decline in stick shift drivers, I taught my (then) sixteen year old son to drive my Mazda last year and my fourteen year old daughter is already bugging me to start teaching her to drive a stick as well. My son for his part has already taught a dozen of his class mates and another dozen were give cars by their folks with three pedals under the dash and were told, "It's yours when you can drive it." By my son's calculations, nearly a third of the kids in his high school are proficient at driving a stick, and to the best of his knowledge, none of them would be willing to part with their current mounts unless the replacement had a stick as well. Is this part of a new trend toward stirring your own? Don't know, but one can certainly hope.
#122 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [shipo]
Feb 28, 2011 (12:16 pm)
Yep, the "Fast & Furious" crowd alright. Hope it works...
#123 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [shipo]
Feb 28, 2011 (1:48 pm)
Funny, you throw out a bunch of WAGs and when someone posts real numbers you question their accuracy because you don't happen to like them. Do you have legitimate numbers to reference other than your questionable little survey? I think even BMW, the "ultimate driving machine" only sells about 15% or less MT and they are offered in most of their models.
Someone is always posting in these forums that "everybody I know drives a stick and I just don't understand why the manufacturers don't offer more of them". Well, it isn't a mystery. Sales numbers don't lie and believe me if kids(or adults) were in dealerships or writing letters demanding more MTs I think they would take note. IMO a lot of people say they want a stick but they don't end up buying one for many reasons other than lack of availibility.
Also, knowing how to drive a MT and actually wanting to drive one for a daily driver are too different things. I grew up on MTs but long commutes and a lot of stop and go traffic quickly pushed me into auto trans.
#124 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [m6user]
Feb 28, 2011 (6:55 pm)
"Do you have legitimate numbers to reference other than your questionable little survey?"
Ohhh, is that attitude? I said I didn't; what makes you think I've gotten my hands on them in the last few hours?
"I think even BMW, the "ultimate driving machine" only sells about 15% or less MT and they are offered in most of their models."
Sounds about right, but when you consider that a number of their higher end models aren't even available with a stick means that the take rate for those models that do have a manual transmission available is pretty high. I know that my BMW dealership in Bergen County New Jersey (NYC Metro Area) was bragging about how 50% of the 3-Series cars they sold were manual transmission models.
"Someone is always posting in these forums that "everybody I know drives a stick and I just don't understand why the manufacturers don't offer more of them". Well, it isn't a mystery. Sales numbers don't lie and believe me if kids(or adults) were in dealerships or writing letters demanding more MTs I think they would take note. IMO a lot of people say they want a stick but they don't end up buying one for many reasons other than lack of availibility."
From my perspective, numbers do in fact lie. I know any number of folks that would like to drive a stick but aren't willing to order their car and wait for it and/or the car they really want isn't available with a stick. My neighbor across the street is a prime example; his new Audi A6 is available in Europe with a stick (and pretty much everywhere else in the world where the A6 is sold), but not here. He felt the A4 was too small and his nearly 35% grade driveway mandates the best of the best of AWD systems given the winters we get here in New Hampshire, so the A6 is what he got and he "settled" for an automatic. So how do the numbers lie? In my experience, a number of ways:
- Many dealers are reticent to order even one car with a stick for inventory/test drives
- Many dealers actually try to talk you out of buying a car with a stick, "You don't really want a stick; driving a stick is dumb." One of my favorites is, "You don't really want a stick, the resale value is really poor." Uh-huh, sorry, I'm not buying the car for the chump after me, I'm buying it for ME. Funny thing, when I turned my 530i 5-Speed in at lease end the dealership I turned it in to (not my selling dealer; I'd moved four states away) they really weren't all that keen about taking yet another 530i in and putting it on their used car lot. That is, they really weren't all that keen until they found out that it was a 530i with the Premium Package, Sport Package, upgraded Audio, Xenon headlights, and a 5-Speed. They put it on the lot with a price of $2,000 more than otherwise comparable 530i (automatic) models and sold it in less than a week.
- Some dealerships are so anti-stick that I've had three dealers actually refuse my down-payment on an order for a car with a stick because they were so sure that in the end I'd force them to eat the car and sell me an otherwise identical car with an automatic.
Yeah, numbers lie; if sticks were in greater supply and if they were actually marketed the way manufacturers market their models with their wiz-bang CVTs and Dual-Clutch automatics, they'd sell two, maybe three times the number of cars with sticks than they currently do.
"Also, knowing how to drive a MT and actually wanting to drive one for a daily driver are too different things. I grew up on MTs but long commutes and a lot of stop and go traffic quickly pushed me into auto trans."
Sorry, gotta say it; sounds like a cop-out to me. Over my driving lifetime I've lived and commuted in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New York, and now Boston. I have well over a million miles under my belt and every time I'm saddled with a car with an automatic (typically a rental when I'm on the road), I hate it so much that as much as I love to travel, I cannot wait to get back home and drive a car with a real transmission.
#125 of 1324 Re: Nothing's changed [shipo]
Feb 28, 2011 (9:52 pm)
Ohhh, is that attitude? I said I didn't; what makes you think I've gotten my hands on them in the last few hours?
Yeah, I guess it is a little attitude. So what. Just think it's funny when people try to extrapolate a few opinions in their neighboorhood or circle of friends to represent the US population as a whole. I could take a poll in my neighboorhood and probably come up with just the opposite of the response that you say you got. What does it prove? That we live in different neighborhoods? Hardly scientific or statistically relevant.
Sales numbers are sales numbers and I just find it hard to believe that all the market research people in all the auto companies have missed this great groundswell of people wanting sticks.
MTs can be fun and there are solid advantages to them. But most people don't drive for fun. Sorry, if you feel people that drive automatics are "copping out". Copping out from what exactly? The joy of rowing the gears and pushing in the clutch while you creep along at 0-25 mph for an hour and a half in rush hour traffic. If all people had to do was drive the curvies with no particular place to go, yeah, maybe they would want MTs in greater numbers. But that is sadly, not reality.