I don't understand this trend at all.
Are there really more people who prefer to shift 0.01 seconds faster than to shift manually?
Yes. That and its easier. Sad but true.
Also, I would like to add...
My generation is COMPLETELY oblivious to the "weird looking 3rd pedal in my car." It's as if the knowledge of what a manual transmission is, not just how to operate one, is completely dying.