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The death of the manual car: Holden ditches manual transmissions for popular vehicle range

Holden has today announced it is stripping back its popular Astra range, and will no longer produce manual gearbox options.

Motoring expert Joshua Dowling, from Car Advice, said it’s due to declining demand.

“It’s not a matter of them forcing the customers hand, it’s the customers forcing their hand, I’m afraid,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“Manual sales are on the decline globally, especially so in Australia.

“It’s on the way out, unfortunately.”

Mr Dowling said it’s preferable for young drivers to learn to drive in a manual car, so their declining popularity is a problem.

“You definitely learn more about the car and what the car is meant to do if you learn to drive in a manual,” he said.

“It’s a self-fulfilling situation, really. Mum and dad tend to switch to an automatic, therefore junior can’t learn in a manual car.”

But we’re not likely to see manual vehicles die out entirely.

Mr Dowling said manual options are likely to remain for performance cars designed for car enthusiasts, and workhorse vehicles.

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