Automatic Transmissions are Already a Success in Europe, Highlights Ford
Manual transmissions are gradually being displaced by the increasingly modern and efficient automatic gearboxes. In the last three years alone, the number of cars and commercial vehicles that Ford has sold with an automatic transmission has more than tripled, from 10.4% in 2017 to 31.3% in the first month of 2020. In Spain, The choice of Ford models with this type of transmission has gone from 5.4% in 2017 to 16.4% in 2019.
This could have to do with some easy to understand factors, which come down to the end of the day for convenience and comfort. But there are more aspects to consider. For example, European cities are characterized by being relatively small in terms of space on the streets, and not to mention congestion, so a manual can be somewhat cumbersome on numerous occasions. Then, technology has reached new levels in terms of reliability and efficiency that are far from the old and rough boxes of yesteryear.
Among the many benefits of automatic transmissions is the fact that they allow drivers to enjoy the latest in driver assistance technology, making everything from parking to intermittent traffic easier and more comfortable to manage," says Roelant de Waard, vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. "We expect this trend to continue as more and more people will be moving around in electric vehicles in the future, making automatic transmissions the standard.
Ford has been selling vehicles with automatic gearboxes for nearly seven decades, although current technology is almost unmatched by that Ford-O-Matic three-speed transmission introduced in 1951. Today, the company allows remote starting of the engine or climate control through its application (FordPass), in addition to partially autonomous parking capabilities or an adaptive cruise control with the ability to stop completely in case of detecting an accident, among many others.
Among the best-selling Ford models with an automatic transmission is the Focus, with 30.9% of the quota in January this year compared to 7% of the models in 2017. The Fiesta and Puma can also be specified with one, which also offers fuel savings of up to 15% compared to the previous Fiesta equivalent. In total, the purchase of automatic passenger cars by the US firm in Europe has gone from 8.6% in 2017 to 31.6% in 2019. In Spain, it has gone from 4.6% in 2017 to 18.3% in 2019.
Regarding commercial vehicles, 31% of the units sold in January had automatic transmissions, an increase of 17.4% compared to 2017 figures. In Spain, it has gone from 7.2% in that same year to 10.5% in 2019. During the same month, 19% of Transit vans were equipped with automatic transmissions (4.7% in 2017). In 2019, in the five largest European markets, the highest proportion of Ford vehicles without clutch pedal corresponded to Germany, followed by France, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy.
Modern automatic transmissions offer many benefits, from reducing noise in the passenger compartment to helping ease dizziness. They also allow the equipping of technologies that allow drivers, when using adaptive cruise control, to start automatically, or park with the push of a button, highlighted the significance of the blue oval. Something that undoubtedly marries the spirit of the house and the future of its electrified models. Proof of this is found in the recent arrival of its first zero-emission SUV, the Mustang Mach-E.