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Surprise to me and maybe one reason SS only auto, at least for now.





Manual Transmissions Are Hideously Expensive Because Of Software



It seems crazy that so many automakers are dropping manual transmissions from their lineups, because stickshifts ought to be so cheap compared to high-tech dual clutch systems. Well, manuals are much more expensive than you think, and software is to blame.
It turns out that manual transmissions themselves may be simple and cheap to manufacture, but they're surprisingly costly to integrate into cars. It's not just a question of cutting a bigger hole in the floor of the car to fit an H-pattern. You have to totally recalibrate a new car's multitude of computer systems to accept a three-pedal gearbox, as car industry insider doodon2whls explains.
Well, I can offer you some insight from my experience fighting for this from the inside of an OEM.
To develop, test, homologate, and certify an MTX [manual transmission - Ed.] variant of a vehicle platform is very costly. Probably more costly than the borderline MTX enthusiast might be willing to pay. It's not just the hardware which can get costly for a well synthesized box - It's the software. Whether we like it or not, software drives modern day cars. Engine, Transmission, and ESP/ABS/TCS systems all run on software. Sure, the base software for the control systems can be carried over, but the calibration for these systems is not trivial by any means, and requires significant man-years of development and several prototype test properties in multiple environments to develop, test, and certify performance and safety.
I knew a seasoned vehicle calibrator in the company, and he showed me a graph with an exponential curve fit through several data points. The X-axis was vehicle model year. The Y-axis was the number of calibration set points required for _just_ the engine calibration. In the 1980's it was up to 10. By the late 1990's it was in the 10,000's and the trend was climbing steeply. This didn't even consider yet the ESP/ABS/TCS systems which have also grown in complexity over the past decade. Add several tens of thousands more calibration points for them.
Most of the auto manufacturers do a 'value added' calculation to assess vehicle program feasibility / profitability. Unfortunately, when you consider the cost of the per-vehicle parts and development/test/homologation/certification amortized over the volume of a low take-rate option like MTX, it doesn't paint a good picture.
I fought long and hard for enthusiast oriented content during my career there, only to find that it was difficult to (believe it or not) get some product planners to appreciate the importance of the enthusiast market since enthusiasts serve as taste makers for the main stream.
So, all of you MTX fan boys and girls out there, keep buying new cars with MTX's. That's the only way to ensure that product planners can justify this kind of content. When the take-rates fall below 5%, it becomes a tough sell.
That's not to say that software is what's preventing carmakers from offering manual transmissions to the public. Take rates are very low here in America, and that's what turns the high costs of developing manual transmission-compliant calibration into too high costs. If everyone went to their dealer and asked for a stickshift, those development costs wouldn't seem so bad, because suddenly there'd be a business case for them.
The point that doodon2whls is making is that the costs of bringing a manual transmission variant of a car are higher than you might think, and software calibration is the cause.
 

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I thought of 1k/TT when I read that :)

The thing is, though, development for the manual is already done for the Australian market. You can buy a VF Commodore with a manual right now. So, the development cost argument doesn't really make sense for the SS.

What still might be a problem is certification and emissions testing. They'd have to go through that process for transmission option of the car, so it essentially doubles the cost to certify a car for US sale so they can sell it to 10% more people.
 

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The thing is, though, development for the manual is already done for the Australian market. You can buy a VF Commodore with a manual right now. So, the development cost argument doesn't really make sense for the SS.
You can buy a manual Commodore, but it will have the 6.0 engine. Only HSVs have the 6.2 in Australia (and yes, they do have manuals), but we get to the argument whether Holden and HSV are they same thing or not. AFAIK, they have separate factories.
 

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I thought of 1k/TT when I read that :)

The thing is, though, development for the manual is already done for the Australian market. You can buy a VF Commodore with a manual right now. So, the development cost argument doesn't really make sense for the SS.

What still might be a problem is certification and emissions testing. They'd have to go through that process for transmission option of the car, so it essentially doubles the cost to certify a car for US sale so they can sell it to 10% more people.
Thank you for saving me the effort of having to point out this OBVIOUS BULL$HIT that car manufacturers are trying to sell this "blogger", and the rest of us.
GM is building manual SS cars right next to the automatics.
The simple, and glaring, truth is that they don't want to offer a manual because they want to simplify their logistics and think the public will accept it.
I won't and neither will any other self respecting auto enthusiast
Give me dual clutch or a clutch pedal.
 

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You can buy a manual Commodore, but it will have the 6.0 engine. Only HSVs have the 6.2 in Australia (and yes, they do have manuals), but we get to the argument whether Holden and HSV are they same thing or not. AFAIK, they have separate factories.
HSV & Callaway are the same type of business, factory approved performance outlets who can target those who spend more and want more from their cars.
if HSV do not obey GM rules they can be replaced like HDT were replaced with HSV 25 odd years ago.
 

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If it costs them more money to manufacture manual vehicles they will just pass that extra expense down to consumers and charge more for a manual. Only people who really care and want the manual will pay the extra and everyone will get automatic. I don't see what the problem is there. Especially on a car like the SS where many of the customers would prefer to have a manual.
 

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You can buy a manual Commodore, but it will have the 6.0 engine. Only HSVs have the 6.2 in Australia (and yes, they do have manuals), but we get to the argument whether Holden and HSV are they same thing or not. AFAIK, they have separate factories.
I stand corrected, didn't know there was a difference. Still, the point stands :)
 

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meh; they're slower than autos.
 

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what's funny is that GM had no excuse to not offer us a manual transmission.
at first when we didn't know the cars were built to order and thought it may have been a bulk process, it was in a was more acceptable to not have manual.

but after hearing they are being built to order and still with no manual option, that ticked me off.
 

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Well my two cents the SS is 6.2 liter and it will have to be certified for USA market. Their might be a manual down the road but it will take a while to get to market certification doesn't happen over night. What is certified in Australia is not USA think about it. We have to put diff lights and such for European market.
z51vett
 

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I wonder how long they will be producing the SS for us NA consumers. The news that they are only build <2,000 vehicles makes me nervous about them not continuing to build them for a long enough time to see a manual option introduced.
 

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i would imagine the software would have trouble with the unpredicibility of humans. With an auto trans the software knows to switch between certain revs, with a stick the software would be at the mercy of the driver. Clearly this is a case of machine over man... Sports Sedan my ass, its a highpowered grocey getter for wives to run red lights with :D:D
 

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what's funny is that GM had no excuse to not offer us a manual transmission.
at first when we didn't know the cars were built to order and thought it may have been a bulk process, it was in a was more acceptable to not have manual.

but after hearing they are being built to order and still with no manual option, that ticked me off.
Agreed. At this point, if you are going to spend new car money, you might as well get all new parts including chassis, engine, transmission, etc, Etc, and wait for the 2015 ATSV or Camaro.
 

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Agreed. At this point, if you are going to spend new car money, you might as well get all new parts including chassis, engine, transmission, etc, Etc, and wait for the 2015 ATSV or Camaro.
and spend what was your SS money on a used G8 and have fun in that, or even a Caprice PPV, we do have to have something to hoon around while we wait :lol2:
 

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Keep telling yourself that to make your feel better about the junk you own.
Plenty of data to back him up on that. Just because you don't want an auto doesn't mean that other can't.

Manuals are great for those that want them. The SS probably will get a manual option at some point down the road; you can take the G8 as evidence of that possibility. The first model year the car wasn't offered with a manual at all, had to wait for the GXP for that.
 
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