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There is a letter in C&D regarding a customer who wanted to test a new 6 and couldn't find a V6 5 spd. in stock at the dealers he tried. This is very true, I think, for a lot of us lately.

However, there is a slight slant in the letter where I believe the writer was seeming to say that Mazda wasn't up to speed in the sport sedan market because the don't have manuals in supply as well as Audi and BMW do. He claims that Mazda produced "only" 5% in manual. He doesn't tell where that number comes from nor the break down of i4 to V6.

Now, I agree that Mazda dropped the ball on knowing how many customers would want manuals in their "sport" sedans.
But, we do know that Mazda is working as quickly as possible to bring more manuals to market, which is amazing considering how many "sport" sedan manufacturers wouldn't care, or think of some manufacturers that don't even offer a manual in their sport sedans such as Honda.

Also, in reponse to that writer I can witness that I started car shopping in the middle of last fall. I was looking at BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Lexus, Infiniti. I wanted something more along those lines. I went to test drive these cars.
I went to 5 BMW dealers in the Chicago area and only found ONE BMW 3 series with a manual and it was not a sport model which I was interested in. I went to 4 Audi dealers and could only find TWO A4's configured the way I wanted with the sport package and couldn't find A4's in ANY configuration at the 3 previous Audi dealers I had gone to.
I was shocked at BMW which promotes themselves as the "ultimate driving machine". In fact, the dealers were rather surprised at my manual request. At every dealership they asked me if I "...really want a manual?" I got the same at Audi.
Lexus did have manuals but it was 1 car at both dealerships I tried. The 2 Jag dealers could only come up with 1 car after 3 weeks of waiting to test one. Infiniti didn't even offer a manual with their G35 sedan. 2 Nissan dealers didn't have a manual Altima 3.5 until early winter. I had stopped shopping when winter came as I hadn't had enough test time in the cars I was considering. I have since resumed my search and LOVE the 6 AND it costs less, bonus! :)

So, the point is that that letter doesn't tell a full story and seems to make Audi and BMW appear as if their cars are so plentiful in manuals. They are NOT and I know first hand. I was told waiting times to get a manual from Audi could be as much as 3 to 4 months! Crazy. And, BMW said 4 to 8 weeks which is about what Mazda has said. The biggest difference is that Mazda 6 is a NEW car that just came out. The Audi, BMW, Altima, Jaguar are cars that have had time to become available and still aren't plentiful. Also, the dealers tell me that demands for manuals in those "sport" sedans is not very common thus the low availability. The 6 is a different story. There is a demand and Mazda have stepped up to fill it.

Tome
 

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Reading Topic: C&D letter in new issue

One dealer told me that Mazda produced only 13% 5spds in any configuration so...who knows, he might have meant v6 w/sport is 5%
 
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