QCOSTARICA – There was a time in the not-to-distant past you could not take a driver’s license exam if the auto was not with a manual transmission. Less than two decades later, Cars with manual transmissions are closer to disappearing in Costa Rica.
The increase in traffic and the inconvenience that this implies, comfort in driving, efficiency and the transition to electric mobility are some of the main reasons why in Costa Rica more and more vehicles are sold with automatic transmission than a manual.
And despite the fact that statistics indicate that fewer and fewer drivers choose a manual transmission, opinions from dealers are divided regarding its eventual extinction.
However, some automatic models still allow you to activate manual mode and drive with the paddles on the crank or other built-in systems such as Shiftronic.
A recent survey by La Republica of new car sales shows us evidence of the trend.
Percentage sales by type of transmission during 2021 (Dealer, Brand, Automatic, Manual):
Some of the dealers had this to say:
Jerry Campos, Product manager at the Hyundai (Grupo Q):
“It is very possible that the manual transmission will disappear from vehicles in the course of the next ten years, this for three reasons: first, the arrival of new automatic transmission technologies such as shift by wire, a system where there is no need to mechanical connection between the gear lever and the transmission, and which allows the different driving modes to be linked electronically.
As a second aspect, the growth of electric mobility could make the manual transmission disappear since currently, all electric cars are automatic.
As a third aspect, comfort: more and more customers are looking for the best facilities when driving.”
Alex Alens, Branch Manager a Grupo Purdy (Toyota and Lexus and Subaru):
“The automatic transmission of the vehicles is extremely reliable, which allows the user greater peace of mind in terms of repair and fuel efficiency.
With this reality, the positioning of vehicles with automatic transmission is becoming stronger in all markets at a global and local level. However, through our Toyota, Lexus and Subaru brands, we offer a wide portfolio of vehicles in both transmissions, which are available to our customers and are adjusted to their tastes and needs, and also, with the support of Grupo Purdy.”
Ernesto Rodriguez, General Manager at Automotriz (Ford, Volkswagen):
“Without a doubt, it is a global trend that people have a preference for automatic transmission due to factors such as: the increase in vehicular traffic, greater comfort, efficiency and fuel savings with new technologies, as well as adaptation to any member of the family since the new generations are learning to drive almost exclusively in this type of vehicle.
It is estimated that private vehicles in manual versions in our brands could disappear in approximately five years.”