Why is automatic transmission so popular in USA?
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  1. #1
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    Why is automatic transmission so popular in USA?

    Maybe a little OT, but anyway... I have noticed that more than half of the cars in USA have automatic transmission. Here in Norway, it must be about 5% and most people prefer manual above automatic.

    Is there any logic explanation for why Americans like automatic transmissions and Europeans don't?

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  3. #2
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    we are lazy :wink: it might have somthing to do with all the damn mucle cars we have i have always driven standerd and will probable always drive it

  4. #3
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    Traffic more than anything else. Traffic jams suck in a manual transmission car. Many Americans don't even know HOW to drive a manual! :roll:
    Original Club B5 member: 08 R32 & missing my 99 B5

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urlik
    Many Americans don't even know HOW to drive a manual! :roll:
    I dont know HOW to drive and auto... every time I try, I'm either stomping on the E-Brake pedal or accidentaly catching the left edge of the brake and bouncing everyone against their seatbelts.
    I dont know HOW you folks drive those automatics... you aren't even able to cotroll your speed very well with them in traffic... now all these early brake jobs are starting to make sense to me! :wink:

    I must admit... when sitting in Bumper to Bumper traffic... the standard can get a bit tiresome! But other wise... will never own a "slush bucket" Now, an auto-manual e.g. BMW would have a place in my car!

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    that's why VIVA la VW DSG transmission!!!!!
    WE WANT to SEE it in NEXT Passat, otherwise ...I switch for Audi 8)

    I drove (TT) it few weeks ago in Essen, WOW when you want to be lazy...please,Sir. when you wnat to downshift with engine braking, yes you do it So good that I want to swap my Tip for DSG

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    When I was looking for a new car for my wife one of the requirements was an auto. The reason is that we've been driving sticks for 26 some odd years in Baltimore/Washington stop-and-wait-and-go traffic and its taken its toll. I get what I call "clutch knee". My left knee actually gets sharp pains when I do this kind of driving for a week at a time. I guess its a form of repetitive stress syndrome.

    On a side note getting used to this tiptronic has been a real experience. My left foot keeps looking for the non-existent clutch pedal.

  8. #7
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    Re: Why is automatic transmission so popular in USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick
    Maybe a little OT, but anyway... I have noticed that more than half of the cars in USA have automatic transmission. Here in Norway, it must be about 5% and most people prefer manual above automatic.

    Is there any logic explanation for why Americans like automatic transmissions and Europeans don't?
    My assumption is that this is true partly because of economics. In the USA gasoline is cheap compared to much of Europe. Automatics are usually more expensive and almost always less fuel efficient, and also take away too much performance in the many smaller engined(higher efficiency and maybe lower tax rate too) versions of cars that are sold in Europe but not in the US.

  9. #8
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    We Americans are just too busy eating, reading, applying makeup. combing hair, talking on the cell phone, etc, to have any time left over to actually drive the car. Sad, but true. :roll:

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urlik
    Traffic more than anything else. Traffic jams suck in a manual transmission car.
    Yep. I can't speak for the rest of the populaiton but for me the decision was simple. It is a question of where most of your driving is done. If the majority of your driving is in stop and go conditions, then an auto is an easy choice. Now.... some people like a manual so much that they'll deal with that inconvenience in traffic so they an have the manual at the times they want it. Not me. From the statistics you're citing, wound like probably not most people.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveD
    We Americans are just too busy eating, reading, applying makeup. combing hair, talking on the cell phone, etc, to have any time left over to actually drive the car. Sad, but true. :roll:
    How true that is

  12. #11
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    Americans drive automatics either because they are physically handicapped or are preoccupied with cell phones, reading books, make up, etc. while driving in rush hour traffic....and because of people like that there are hundreds and thousands of accidents everyday. I switch over to a manual the first car I bought because A) its fun, B) you have much more control over your car; no pushy auto tranny - I hate that, C) driving a manual trans. car makes you pay more attention to the road while driving which makes me a better driver than most, that makes me damn proud to drive a manual and a fine German automobile at that!

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfb518t
    C) driving a manual trans. car makes you pay more attention to the road while driving which makes me a better driver than most,
    Shaking head ....

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    Odd how many attribute the prevelance of the automatic transmission to traffic conditions in the US. However, many places in Europe are afflicted with the same problems. There are sections of the autobahn that experience traffic backups as worse as many major US metropolitan highways.

    If I had to guess it is a matter of convenience and the fact that the majority of American's use their cars as an appliance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveD
    We Americans are just too busy eating, reading, applying makeup. combing hair, talking on the cell phone, etc, to have any time left over to actually drive the car. Sad, but true. :roll:
    Hit the nail on the head.

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    Hi - I think that Apex107 has it about right. In the USA we drive big, powerful, not very agile cars for long distances.
    Don't need manual on a long h'way trip & auto is so much easier in traffice, and gas here is about half the price of europe along with a disgraceful lack of mass transportation. Unless you live in NYC or Boston or one of those, you need to drive everywhere. You don't drive for fun; you drive because of necessity.

    Having said all that, I drove a manual for over 50 years and didn't switch to Auto until my son said it was about time. I like the Tip cause it give me some control and the auto IS more relaxing. When my wife says the traffic is awful, I answer
    "so what, with Auto it's easy.

  17. #16
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    I agree with Steve, most of the time I have coffee in one hand and the cell phone in the other. If I am stuck in traffic and not on the phone, it's a waste of time!

  18. #17
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    The rest of Americans are lazy.

    I don't know the real reason, but I know that I prefer my stick in traffic, even lots of traffic (had it in philly for 1.5years). I'm a total control freak.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezrabaker
    Hi - I think that Apex107 has it about right. In the USA we drive big, powerful, not very agile cars for long distances.
    Don't need manual on a long h'way trip & auto is so much easier in traffice, and gas here is about half the price of europe along with a disgraceful lack of mass transportation. Unless you live in NYC or Boston or one of those, you need to drive everywhere. You don't drive for fun; you drive because of necessity.
    I agree with that. Also, probably a standard step in learning how to drive (outside NA) is how to deal with the stick/clutch, it is associated with driving.

  20. #19
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    Those are good answers.

    However, one overlooked cause for the large percentage of automatics is their cost.

    The cost of manufacturing an automatic transmission is not that much more than a manual, yet manufacturers can charge a lot more for an automatic and do so by selling the convienance and ease of use.

    So, agreeing with the above statements, we Americans are paying for convienance and the car companies are willing to oblige us.

    Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but it is part of why there are a lot of car models that do not even offer manual transmissions.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveD
    We Americans are just too busy eating, reading, applying makeup. combing hair, talking on the cell phone, etc, to have any time left over to actually drive the car. Sad, but true. :roll:
    ALL THAT in the car, while driving :weirdo: :wink:

  22. #21
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    Americans are just plain lazy and rich!!!! Traffic is just as bad in Europe as it is in the US. We like paying for convience, lower gas milage, and higher service costs. Gas is very cheap. Why else would people flock to buy SUVs that get 15 mpg.

    Unless you can't walk and chew gum at the same time then you can drive a manual transmission. Americans just don't want to learn.

  23. #22
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    My 2 Cents....I hate automatic cars. I look for the clutch and get lost when it is not there. I like the added control I get from a manual transmission. I just bought the wife an 89 cabrio resto project...soon to be turbo sleeper...And she has even been converted to manual. MY sister has an automatic cabrio, she lets me drive it and she rips on me for putting on the e brake when I park. Force of habit I guess. Did VW ever issue a US B5 w8 in a six speed? I really hate the tiptronic. When I bought my B5 in 1998 the sales guy tried to sell me one with tiptronic, I could not drive the damn thing. I wanted a clutch. Happy holidays, I hope everyone gets lots of car parts this season.
    m

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nenad
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveD
    We Americans are just too busy eating, reading, applying makeup. combing hair, talking on the cell phone, etc, to have any time left over to actually drive the car. Sad, but true. :roll:
    ALL THAT in the car, while driving :weirdo: :wink:
    Also see people picking there noses!

  25. #24
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    It's just easier

    It's just easier. I suppose I could still pump water from a well, but why do that when I can get indoor plumbing? I could still use a typewriter, but why do that when I can use a computer?

    Plus, how am I supposed to hold my gun or liquor if my hand is on the stick? Yeee hawww!

  26. #25
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    Traffic and laziness.. We want everything done for us... Why else would high end cars now come with "Trunk Assist" as Benz calls it. At the push of a button, the trunk will fully open or close for you... Bet that saves a whole .75 seconds every time you need the trunk...

    And to you Mike618, YES they did... This one happens to be in my garage...


  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoneRock
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveD
    We Americans are just too busy eating, reading, applying makeup. combing hair, talking on the cell phone, etc, to have any time left over to actually drive the car. Sad, but true. :roll:
    Hit the nail on the head.
    Exactly. Anyways, I don't have a problem driving a stick in traffic.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich P
    Quote Originally Posted by NoneRock
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveD
    We Americans are just too busy eating, reading, applying makeup. combing hair, talking on the cell phone, etc, to have any time left over to actually drive the car. Sad, but true. :roll:
    Hit the nail on the head.
    Exactly. Anyways, I don't have a problem driving a stick in traffic.
    I wanted to add shaving to that. And I don't mean electric shaver, I am talking shaving with cream and regular shaver. Saw it myself on 101 in morning traffic.

  29. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfb518t
    Americans drive automatics either because they are physically handicapped or are preoccupied with cell phones, reading books, make up, etc. while driving in rush hour traffic....and because of people like that there are hundreds and thousands of accidents everyday. I switch over to a manual the first car I bought because A) its fun, B) you have much more control over your car; no pushy auto tranny - I hate that, C) driving a manual trans. car makes you pay more attention to the road while driving which makes me a better driver than most, that makes me damn proud to drive a manual and a fine German automobile at that!
    100% ture
    When I had automatic I was like 'was therea red or green light' after i passed traffic lights. Now I pay much more attention to driving with 5 steep on my car.

    But the sad new is that if you trayin' to sell 5speed...... be patient and lucky.... I have my 5speed jetta for sale for over 2 manths now... people see manual and walk away...
    These lazy freaks want auto...

    I know is not a part of this thread but did you hear the story about the guy who sued a RV manufacturer because he set up a cruise control and thought the vehicle would drive itself. I went back to make himself some coffe and ended up on tree. He sued teh RV company for missinforamion in manual.... Some Americans are ......

  30. #29
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    Damn VWGUY COLOR ME JEALOUS!! :bow:
    Now I know what my next car will be.
    m

  31. #30
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    In case you haven't noticed...we don't have to hand-crank our cars anymore, there are no 'choke' controls, and we don't have to manually advance the spark, either.

    The big question for me is why Europeans stick with manuals. That probably has to do with the enormous taxes Europeans have to pay on their gasoline. Oops, I almost forgot, the poltically correct thing is to say Americans stole the oil (please pay no attention whatsoever to Jacques Chiraq and TotalFinaElf...that's a whole ball of wax not even being reported in the US, I guess we wouldn't want to embarass any of our 'friends'). I certainly go to work every day so that I can 'steal' oil, just like I have to wake up every morning to do something useful for others so that I can receive these 'dolllar' things so that I can have the privelege of 'stealing' my clothing and food, too. I guess this is why unlike Europeans I work 45-50 hours/week 52 weeks out of the year, gives me more time to 'steal' things.

    I guess I must have 'stolen' this Passat as well...gee maybe I should apologize to the factory workers in Emden for keeping their factory humming...

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