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Beside low offering (cause or the consequence?) and youth laziness (a constant perception since the dawn of times in every society, so…) there are cultural reasons embedded in post-war history, the golden era of “car for everyone”.
In Europe, resources, money and even facilities were scarce or destroyed. Combined with shorter distances and much older cities lay out, it lead to mostly small commodity cars (think original Mini and 500, 2 CV, real production KdF [Beetle] or even the Isetta). An automatic in those power limited cars makes no sense, and so went the car culture. Even as today, in some countries, you still have to choose between a more restrictive automatic car driver’s license and a manual one. And yes, driving training is set accordingly.
US, on the opposite, were “king of the world”, going suburbia, long distance highways, giant malls and parking lots, bigger, heavier, comfy, luxurious, big engines, selling technological prowess, in a cheap petrol environment. Hence a different car culture, marketing last year design technology and format as so obsolete to anyone… (and a difficulty to penetrate foreign markets and even, at times, maintain local market, but that’s another story).
“Fun” (or engagement, satisfaction), if one cares, might be the last argument for the manual here. Even the cost and simplicity advantage are slowly drowning in electronics and “intelligent” gimmicks. Performance and mpg wise, the advantage isn’t really there anymore, except maybe for a very skillful driver. Not always the case, sorry: how many times have I been unable to maintain a linear acceleration following a manual driver slow to find next gear, losing momentum between each of them…
Last edited by jolly; 05-15-2019 at 02:25 PM.