We've had quite a bit of news about manual transmission take rates this week. On the disappointing side, we learned that Toyota doesn't sell many manuals in the models it offers them, and even the 86 sports car is sold more with the automatic. On the encouraging side, most people still buy Miatas with a manual. Now we have data from Honda that's partly encouraging and partly discouraging: it sold more manuals in 2018 than 2017, but the portion of overall sales is still small.
We'll focus on the good news first. Honda sold 30 percent more manual transmission-equipped cars in 2018 than in 2017 for a total of 45,601 cars. Making that number even more impressive is the fact that the Honda brand's total sales for the year went down by 2.2 percent.