It’s a tough world out there for manual transmissions. Take rates for most models that still offer them are low, and now, with the global semiconductor shortage and the, the parts to even make manual transmission-equipped vehicles are tough to come by. According to a report Monday by Autocar, that situation has led Mini to halt production on manual transmission-equipped models.
Mini is a brand that prides itself on the fun-to-drive nature of its cars, and so it holds its three-pedal models in high regard, but it’s also a niche brand, which means that it’s unable to either flex its muscles and get the necessary components for manual models elsewhere or just build the cars without those components and sit on them until the parts become available.
We spoke to Mini about its plans, and its US representative, Andrew Cutler, assured us that the manual transmission situation is temporary and that the best thing the company can do right now is to simplify its product offerings to help keep production going.
Unlike in other markets like the UK, in the US for a base model Cooper there is no difference in cost between the six-speed manual or the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, so at least this change won’t raise the price of entry for those who want a Mini regardless of transmission.
For enthusiasts it’s good that this situation is temporary. Still, with Mini’s planned 2030 switch to electric-only looming, the stick shift may have its days numbered anyway.