LOTS of downtube shifting here in Madison WI and LOTS of manual transmission cars Russ. Jetta especially sells lots of them without having to special order them.
I doubt it. I've cycled in Wisconsin. Some parts are very hilly. Dairyland Dare for instance. Tell me how many downtube shifters you see on that ride. None. Downtube shifters are used by old men who are reliving their youth by clinging to the old time ways of cycling. Back when chamois were leather, shorts were wool, and cleats were nailed to the shoes. Anyone who has taken up cycling in the last 30 years does not use downtube shifters. And all the hip, chic, swinging cool cats ride single speed, man. Downtube shifters are for the old fogeys with more hair on their chins than top.
Jetta? Volkswagen? Volkswagen can't even give their F-ing cars away after the latest diesel emissions scandal. I think the CEO was kicked out. The Feds and California are suing them. And a bunch of other states too. Volkswagen sales have plummeted recently. Last year they got hold of the number one car sales title from Toyota. I think they lost it with this recent disaster. Go to any car lot in your town. Look at the cars and see how many are manual. Even the little cars are automatic.
I saw more than a few downtube shifters on the Dairyland Dare last year; I might use them myself this year. I like brifters and bar ends better than downtube shifters, though.
By the way, I'm more than happy to be one of those "old fogeys with more hair on their chins than top" who likes downtube shifters. That's an intelligent and thoughtful criticism by the way.