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The Journal Gazette

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November 27, 2016 1:01 AM

Local dealers have fewer sticks on lots

Lisa Green | The Journal Gazette

Stick shifts aren’t as common at some local dealerships as they used to be.

“I would say there’s a decline in manual transmissions based on the simplicity in driving,” said James Olney, a sales consultant with Fort Wayne Kia, Toyota, Lexus on Illinois Road.

“We do offer stick shifts, but most of the stick shifts we have are in sportier cars,” he said. 

Many vehicles offer a feature – sometimes called auto stick – where drivers can shift gears without using a clutch. 

John Garcia, dealer-operator at Summit City Chevrolet, said with automatic transmissions that are more fuel-efficient, there is less incentive to buy a stick.

“It’s kind of been more of a gradual trend for the most part,” Garcia said. 

Years ago, the inventory at his Illinois Road dealership would include at least 25 percent stick shifts. There are far fewer today, though, based on changes by auto manufacturers.

“I still have a 2015 Cruze left over and the only reason it’s left is because it’s a stick shift,” Garcia said. 

“We might keep one around as a price leader and that’s about it – just for that individual who feels like they have to shift,” he said. “Occasionally you get somebody who’s a die-hard individual.”

lisagreen@jg.net