The automotive industry has been continually shifting as improvements and changes occur. Iconic automaker Mercedes-Benz announced on Tuesday one such novel gear shift—so to speak—that it will stop producing vehicles with manual transmissions.
The company's Chief of R&D, Markus Schäfer, stated that the "company will eliminate manual transmissions," so as to minimize costs and streamline production.
It's no news that manual transmissions were going to phase out, but not many automakers have stood up and outrightly stated they were officially stopping their production. So far, Audi made the switch, with Mercedes-Benz now officially following suit, as per Driven.
Times are changing
Schäfer explained that Mercedes-Benz is going forward with a "substantial reduction in platforms" and a "very dramatic reduction in combustion engines," as per journalist Greg Kable's post on Twitter.
This news will be received differently depending on where you are located. For American drivers, this news isn't so exciting given the majority of people use automatic transmissions across the pond. However, for European drivers, who are typically manual transmission enthusiasts, this change may not be so welcome.
The head of @MercedesBenz's R&D operations, Markus Schaefer, has confirmed the company will "eliminate manual transmissions" as part of cost-cutting initiatives that will also see a "substantial reduction in platforms" and a "very dramatic reduction in combustion engines". pic.twitter.com/Ukm5AqP7hz— Greg Kable (@GregKable) October 6, 2020
That said, Mercedes-Benz's cars that are still offered with manual transmission are already hard to come by as it stands.
The Drive was in touch with a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson, who explained, "We will reduce our ICE powertrain portfolio by 40 percent until 2025 and up to 70 percent by 2030."
"This includes that we will not offer manual transmissions in the mid-term. However, this change will happen 'naturally' when we change to a new generation of vehicles," they continued.
So it's not like the German automaker will stop offering manuals from one day to the next. This will be a gradual shift over the coming years.
Mercedes-Benz has been working on a number of new concepts like this eScooter, and pushing forward its luxury electric vehicle portfolio. You may be a bit sorry to say goodbye to manual transmissions, but there's still plenty to look forward to in the auto industry, and with Mercedes-Benz.