In a shocking development MINI has killed the manual transmission on all models due to supply constraints. What this means for those ordering a MINI with a manual (and will we ever see the option back) is unclear. Perhaps more alarming is what this might mean for BMW.
The global semiconductor shortage and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced MINI into the decision in an effort keep production flowing. What that means is that MINI has simplified its product process and focused on options and components that can be more easily maintained in its parts inventory. In MINI’s own words this move was made to “ensure production stability” for the entire range.
“In order to secure maximum production output to meet increasing customer demand, our product offer needs to be simplified. This solution is the most effective way to ensure production stability so that we can continue to supply all our customers with new Minis.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen manuals get axed by the brand. In 2019 MINI had to stop offering the option in the US due to slow EPA testing. In that scenario the end date for the stoppage was simple – whenever the new cars were validated MINI could begin importing them again.
Will BMW Follow-Suit and Kill The Manual Temporarily
For its small cars based on the front wheel drive UKL we expect BMW to potentially follow MINI’s lead and drop the option. Granted the UKL baed BMWs with manuals aren’t sold in the US and represent a small portion of the overall volume. The bigger question is will this move affect the last manual sold in the US found in the BMW M2, M3 and M4. That we don’t yet know.