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Here's an interesting piece I thought you guys would like to have a click through. Comes from R&T and its actually a very refreshing take on the "doomed" MT...

Despite the dimensional bloat, the number of manual-gearbox 3 Series sold annually in North America hasn't decreased significantly in the last 25 years. Meanwhile, BMW's best automatic has evolved from a miserable four-speed to a computer-controlled eight-speed that shifts faster than any human, accelerates quicker, and offers better fuel economy.

But as a result of the Germans' single-minded quest to sell more cars, the brand is attracting incremental buyers who aren't enthusiasts. In other words, the take rate is falling.

Blame the image-conscious consumers who spend $279 a month to lease a heavily subsidized status symbol. And given that some of those amazing lease rates apply only to automatic-transmission models, and that many dealers won't even stock manual BMWs, it's a miracle that anyone buys a stick Three in the first place. The fact that the 3 Series still appeals to the same number of manual-transmission buyers as it did 25 years ago is a win for the stick. BMW just needs to wake up to it.
So yes while we look MT take rate as a percentage of sales what it does is skew the number as the AMOUNT of total sales has ballooned significantly...

Recommend reading the full piece. http://www.roadandtrack.com/boot/whats-really-killing-the-manual-transmisson
 

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Auto transmissions have improved so much that the benefits offered by the manual no longer apply. The only reason for a manual is to feel more connected and involved with the driving experience. I had a 6MT in my last BMW, but opted for the slush box in my new car because I honestly got tired of the 3rd pedal in traffic after a while. However, for my weekend fun car it has to be manual for me, regardless of whether a dual clutch or torque converter is faster.
 

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the fact that bmw dealers do not stock manuals has alot to do with it

incentives and deals are only given only models on the floor or lot

i've went through this many times before

this is why many enthusiasts buy used cars because its easier to find a manual. but the number of used manuals in the coming years is really going to drop.
 
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