Stick It to 'Em: Michigan Loves Manual Transmission (Assuming Social Media Is Real Life…)

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The shouting factory that is Twitter, by and large, should generally not be considered as something that resembles real life. Between trolls and various other bottom feeders, it can be tough to find real information amongst all the noise.

Every now and then, a nugget of information appears that makes weathering the commotion worthwhile. Despite take rates being lower than this winter’s average temperatures, stickshifts are apparently a very popular topic in the Wolverine State.

According to a post in the Detroit Free Press, gearheads at a site called Autowise geotagged a bunch of tweets in two different categories: pickup trucks and manual transmissions. Hey, now those are two topics your author can get behind, Twitter noise or not.

Your author can indeed chew gum and shift gears at the same time, so it pleases me greatly that the home of the Motor City ranks #1 on Twitter in mentions of cars with manual transmissions. The good folks of Missouri are apparently fans of stickshifts as well, with places like Texas and Ohio also ranking. Must be all those gearheads spending the weekends at COTA and Mid-Ohio.

The decline of the manual transmission is as well-documented as it is long and drawn out. There are plenty of cars which have forsaken the gated shifter for an auto ‘box, deploying the vault-solid logic that computers can shift gears more quickly and with more precision than the slovenly bag of meat behind the steering wheel. Indeed, some machines are faster in the quarter mile with an automatic, not to mention the grin-inducing benefits of features like Line Lock and Launch Control.

Mercifully, some of those computer aids are available on manual transmissions, as well. The satisfaction of driver involvement and engagement with the car cannot be replicated by an automatic transmission, better quarter-mile times be damned.

But I digress. Autowise also geotagged activity about pickup trucks on Twitter, finding that the Ram brand was the most-talked about truck in 17 U.S. states. Truck-centric Texas is included in that number. Despite its best-selling status, the F-150 had the most Twitter activity in 11 states, including its home base of Michigan. The Ranger popped up in seven, impressive for such a new nameplate.

None of this is scientific, of course, but it does make for a nice Friday afternoon diversion before diving back into the noise. Is the manual transmission on the lips of gearheads in your circle of friends, online or off? How about pickup truck brands? Chime in below.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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2 of 49 comments
  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Mar 16, 2019

    Aren't manuals less prone to becoming overstressed in mountainous terrain? The additional strain on the clutch notwithstanding.

  • JimZ JimZ on Mar 18, 2019

    “The shouting factory that is Twitter, by and large, should generally not be considered as something that resembles real life. ” Not unlike the comments on this here website.

  • Bd2 Probably too late to do anything about it for the launch, but Kia should plan on doing an extensive refresh of the front fascia (the earlier, the better) as the design looks really ungainly.
  • Namesakeone Since I include SUVs and minivans as trucks, I really cannot think of a brand that is truly truckless. MG maybe?
  • Sobhuza Trooper Subaru, they were almost there with the BRAT. --On a lighter note, where the hell is my Cooper Works Mini truck?
  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.