Chip Shortages Lead Mini to Drop Manual Gearboxes from Its Offerings
The microchip crisis continues to claim victims, the most recent being certain models belonging to the Mini brand.
We've already seen other manufacturers having to adjust and assemble and deliver certain of their models without some features, with the promise of installing the semiconductors on board afterwards. We're currently seeing this with the GMC Terrain, some versions of which are being delivered without heated seats. In a case like that, the fix-it-later solution is obviously possible.
However, what’s happening with Mini is more difficult to reverse. Supply problems have forced Mini to stop production of models equipped with a manual transmission.
The context for Mini is that the brand is currently working on the next generations of several models. It has decided that the final laps around the track for its current-generation models will be completed with manual gearboxes in the offerings. The company stated that it wants to ensure “production stability”, as reported by the Autocar site.
Not surprisingly, this is making some worry that the decision to drop stick shifts will become permanent, though it's hard to imagine a company whose bread and butter is delivering driving pleasure forevermore selling models without a manual transmission.Read more