Out of the 17.1 million new cars that were sold in 2019, 1.1 percent of those vehicles were sold with a manual transmission. That number is down .5 percent from 2018. Interestingly enough, the number of EVs last year accounted for 1.6 percent of all new cars sold. In short, EVs outsold manuals.
There are a handful of variables involved here, for example, some companies don't offer a manual transmission on anything other than their most basic vehicles, or their high-performance vehicles. The latest EVs from Tesla, Audi and others aim for hot segments like compact to midsize sedans and SUVs. Marketing for EVs is also at an all-time high, which accounts for more people going to dealership websites and looking for a new Audi E-Tron as opposed to someone looking to pick up a new Corolla with a six-speed stick. The manual transmission has become a niche product, almost like an EV, they're both sought after by specific individuals.
Companies like Toyota have also tried to make their manual transmissions seem appealing, by putting one in the Corolla where it doesn't affect any of the safety features that come standard know the Corolla, they call it an Intelligent Manual Transmission. Toyota's manual, like many others, comes with automatic rev matching, to help veteran stick drivers, and new drivers alike.
In several cases though, companies have ditching their manuals in favor of safety features because it is difficult to get the two to work in harmony. Most of the autonomous driving features that people want require adaptive cruise control to operate the throttle, and that creates an issue when there is a manually-operated clutch pedal in the way of the computers and the pavement. Thus we arrive at the rather bittersweet point where EVs have outsold the manual transmission. It's unfortunate, but with Tesla ramping up Model 3 production, and EVs becoming more common on our roadways, it was only a matter of time.