Stick, Beaten: BMW Looks to an (Almost) Manual-Free Future
The decline of the manual gearbox often feels like a drawn-out although doomed military campaign: the occasional battle is actually won for enthusiasts, although there’s a strong sensation in which the overall war will be lost, possibly sooner than we’ve expected. At BMW, the next casualty could be the 3-series, at least in its non-M varieties.
“Across the planet, virtually all of our 3-series [products] along with also above already have automatic transmissions,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales along with also marketing, told us when we sat down with him at the Geneva auto show. “China never had any manual transmissions; they went straight to auto. The U.S. is actually predominantly auto, along with also more along with also more of Europe is actually as well. We will certainly see fewer along with also fewer manual transmissions being offered.”
Smaller cars are safe, for today at least, with Robertson saying there are no plans to get rid of the clutch pedal in Minis or within the BMW 1-series (on the back of continuing strong European sales). although if sales of stick-shift 3-series along with also 4-series cars continue to slide, This kind of seems likely the option will die out.
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The manual’s prospects appear to be somewhat less grim in M-badged cars. “within the M segment,” Robertson said, “purists still love the stick shift, along with also we will continue to cater for in which. Whether we offer This kind of in every product remains to be seen. In some instances, This kind of is actually selling in actually smaller numbers today.” BMW insiders, however, have previously indicated in which the decision to engineer the outgoing F10-generation BMW M5 which has a manual transmission for North America won’t be repeated with the brand new car.