A commercial for the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI brags about a security feature that few car thieves can defeat: a manual transmission.
The spot pokes fun at how many Americans no longer know how to drive with a stick shift by showing a Jetta GLI owner leave his car parked on the street with the doors unlocked.
"Aren't you going to lock the car?" his friend asks as they walk away.
"No, it's a stick shift," the driver says nonchalantly.
The commercial ends with on-screen text saying the Jetta GLI is "for self-driving people" — as opposed to someone who would prefer to turn over their time behind the wheel to a self-driving car. A disclaimer in small print notes: "Legally we have to tell you that you should always lock your car, so you should lock your car."
Only about 2 percent of vehicles now sold in the U.S. have a manual transmission, Edmunds said last year. Jalopnik pointed out that the commercial would be nonsensical to viewers in Europe, where stick shifts remain common. "But in the U.S., where the manual transmission is spiraling towards the deep pit of extinction, it's funny," the site concluded. "Bad 'advice,' but funny."