Mini Drops All Manual Transmission Cars, Return Timeline Unknown
The company has temporarily halted production of manual-equipped cars due to supply chain issues.
Disease and war has wreaked havoc on the world as of late, with flow-on effects disrupting supply chains across the globe. Whether its due to scarce semiconductors or complicated issues of trade, there's virtually no automaker that has remained entirely unscathed in recent times. The popular Mini Cooper is the latest vehicle to be affected, with manual transmission models axed for the time being, reports Autocar.
Supply chain constraints were cited as the reasoning behind the decision, with the automaker noting the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the Russian invasion of Ukraine as causal factors. A decision was taken to halt production of manual-equipped models entirely, as lines were stalled due to a lack of parts, a Mini representative told Autocar.
The impact will be felt across the entire Mini range; previously, all models could be had with a manual gearbox if so desired, sans the Mini Electric, an EV model. This raises the base price of the Mini Cooper in some markets where manual cars were cheaper than models with the dual-clutch automated transmission. In the US, Mini's configurator doesn't discriminate, quoting a base price of $28,250 for a two-door hardtop regardless of transmission, including destination fees.
"In order to secure maximum production output to meet increasing customer demand, our product offer needs to be simplified," reads Mini's statement. Regarding the choice to drop the manual option, the company noted that “This solution is the most effective way to ensure production stability so that we can continue to supply all our customers with new Minis.
Mini is far from the only automaker to be impacted by the current global situation. Porsche has faced disruptions already due to the war in Ukraine, with BMW and VW also having issues with wiring harnesses normally sourced from suppliers in Ukraine. Concerns also revolve around the production of neon gas, which is critical for semiconductor manufacturing. Ukraine typically accounts for almost 70% of the world's neon gas supply.
Thankfully, it's not a permanent change. Speaking to CNET, Mini's US representative advised the outlet that it's a temporary move that the company has taken to keep production lines humming along as smoothly as possible. American buyers are uniquely well-placed, too, as the company doesn't charge extra for the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission in the US. Just keep in mind though, that with a switch to all-electric models on the horizon, the manual won't be around forever.
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