Anyone who reads what I've written about dual clutch gearboxes on this site in the past will know how much of a fan I am of the genre.

Done well - ie by Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, Nissan, Volkswagen, Audi et al - the dual clutch gearbox can add to a car's driver appeal hugely, I believe. 

And even when they're not executed quite so well - ie by Mercedes curiously enough - they are still impressive in what they can do technically, even if subjectively they can leave you feeling short changed.

So much so that you'd have every right to believe that the days of the three pedal 'stick shift' manual gearbox are now well and truly numbered. 

The truth, however, might well surprise you, especially when it comes to the nitty gritty of those numbers in the form of raw data on new car sales.

In 2004, for example, only 17.6 per cent of the 2.55 million new cars that were bought in the UK were fitted with an automatic gearbox. Scroll forwards to 2013, and in an era of flappy paddle this, dual clutch that, and with regular automatics getting better seemingly with every week, you might have expect sales of automatics to sky-rocket.