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Manual Transmission Announcement

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Old 05-24-2019, 09:43 AM
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Manual Transmission Announcement

For those that haven't seen it, the announcement came out today that Mini is removing the manual transmissions from many model trims for next year. This is concerning and disappointing.

I came to the Mini brand because it offered driving excitement and utility with the Countryman. It also had the only option to get a manual transmission in the larger of the 2 engines offered. Looking through the take rate data that Motoring File posted, the highest manual take rates on each car was the JCW trim. Car brands are missing the opportunity here. Offering a manual in the entry level trim is a mistake. If they are only offered on one trim level, make it the highest trim level. This data proves that the manual buyers by and large want performance. Guaranteed missed opportunity with the future GP and 300 hp Countryman / Clubman models in my opinion.

I get that there are serious development costs to consider, but it just seems like everyone is going the opposite of what the actual data shows. As a manual enthusiast this bums me out for any future car considerations.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2019, 09:48 AM
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Many car companies are not offering manual transmissions, or only offering them on a few models. This doesn't come a surprise to me.

Allegedly this is not a permanent decision, but we shall see.
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:49 AM
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It wasn't a choice, though. It was a consequence of emissions testing that is taking longer than anticipated. Industry sources are saying it should be resolved around September, so the sky didn't fall - it's just a hiccup.

https://www.autoblog.com/2019/05/24/...transmissions/
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Derek86 View Post
Many car companies are not offering manual transmissions, or only offering them on a few models. This doesn't come a surprise to me.

Allegedly this is not a permanent decision, but we shall see.
You're missing the point. If they are forced to pick certain models or trim levels to keep the manual as an option, it should be the higher end performance driven models instead of the entry level models. The data shows the majority of manual buyers are in those higher trim levels.

Originally Posted by I_Forge_KC View Post
It wasn't a choice, though. It was a consequence of emissions testing that is taking longer than anticipated. Industry sources are saying it should be resolved around September, so the sky didn't fall - it's just a hiccup.

https://www.autoblog.com/2019/05/24/...transmissions/
My post was in response to this: http://www.motoringfile.com/2019/05/...missions-2020/ which came out today following the article about the delay several days ago.
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Stretch-22 View Post
You're missing the point. If they are forced to pick certain models or trim levels to keep the manual as an option, it should be the higher end performance driven models instead of the entry level models. The data shows the majority of manual buyers are in those higher trim levels.
I guess I'm missing the point then. I'm not that old, but it seems to happen to me often these days...
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:14 AM
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Yeah, its emissions testing related. Since the requirements keep changing every year, it gets easier for the manufacturers to meet the requirements through automatic transmission programming. Soon enough, "IF" any manufacturers still offer manuals, I see them becoming more expensive than their automatic counterparts due to the difficulty in getting them certified.
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:29 AM
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How long until we get another VW-style scandal? I still don't blame VW for that one.
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Derek86 View Post
I guess I'm missing the point then. I'm not that old, but it seems to happen to me often these days...
It's all good. I will conceded that the sales of manual transmission cars have been declining for decades. That ship has sailed.

Having said that, a look into the numbers are interesting for the ones that are selling.

Per the article, on the R56. These are take rates of manuals on each trim level.
- Cooper - 11%
- Cooper S - 17%
- JCW - 41%

All the announcements so far call for the GP to be automatic only. I would prefer they remove the manual option for the Cooper & Cooper S, leave it for the JCW, and then put the extra money saved into offering it for the GP. The numbers are showing that the people buying manuals want the higher end performance model.

On the flip side there is the Countryman take rates:
- Cooper - 1%
- Cooper All4 - 6%
- Cooper S - 0% (should not be included because this is already not offered)
- Cooper S All4 - 10%
- JCW - 19%

The only one they're keeping is the Cooper trim. I'd say that's more of a chance to sell the 300 hp model with a manual than the Cooper trim.... and make more money doing it.
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:28 PM
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The death of the driving experience continues............ but hey, I can now take my eyes off the road even longer and read text messages on my Apple car play instead of looking down at my phone.

Proud member of the manual transmission mafia! (and I dont have car play)
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:29 PM
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There used to be actual advantages to the manual transmission.
Not anymore. It's just the romanticism that's left.

Same with gas vs electric engines. I hate electric for not sounding/behaving like a gas engine. But I can't deny the torque.
As much as I hate the thought at the moment, I know its only a matter of time before the gas engine is gone for good.
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:15 PM
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How the h*ll can you drink your Starbucks, smoke, send/receive texts, enter an address into the NAV, etc. all while shifting a manual trans???
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 03:04 PM
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on one hand ... you can't buy a Ferrari with a manual anymore

on the other hand ....... I enjoy the 'engagement' of the manual shift ... they are getting hard to find ......

WELL, I'll always have my '79
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Squirrelly View Post
How the h*ll can you drink your Starbucks (LEFT HAND), smoke(EW!), send/receive texts(SIRI), enter an address into the NAV(SIRI), etc (STEER WITH YOUR KNEE BETWEEN SHIFTS). all while shifting a manual trans???
 
  #14  
Old 05-24-2019, 07:26 PM
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My 1st F56 was a stick my F54 is an automatic. I have been searching for a stick F54 for 3 month could not find one so I bought the automatic Clubman of Course 3 weeks later there was one with a stick and all the features and color I wanted. My friend works for a Mini Dealer and he told me that as of 2 Weeks ago there have been only 6 man. Mini,s in the Country. The Auto Box is nice in Rush Hour but otherwise I find it a bit boring . Using the man. function on the auto. is just not the same as 3 Pedals.
 
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Old 05-24-2019, 08:18 PM
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The end of life as we know it. Also, no longer millennial theft proof.


 
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:56 PM
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The first major step towards the total "appliancification" of the MINI.. Sure glad I spec'd our R53 with a manual ( that was a given). Rowing through the gears is 90% of the motoring pleasure.
 

Last edited by buzzsaw; 05-25-2019 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by buzzsaw View Post
The first major step towards the total "appliancification" of the MINI.. Sure glad I spec'd our R53 with a manual ( that was a given). Rowing through the gears is 90% of the motoring pleasure.
So when I go for a ride I'm only working with 10% - bummer. Glad I live in a different universe.
 
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:41 AM
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Brother told me of a carjacking case in Omaha a few tears ago. The perps sat in the car, stalled, could no get it moving. Law enforcement showed up and arrested them. They did not know how to operate a manual.
 
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Minnie.the.Moocher View Post
So when I go for a ride I'm only working with 10% - bummer. Glad I live in a different universe.
Which universe? And are MINI parts and service cheaper there?
 
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzsaw View Post
Which universe? And are MINI parts and service cheaper there?
Automatic universe and everything is expensive 😣 especially at Mini Portland.
 
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by d2mini View Post
There used to be actual advantages to the manual transmission.
Not anymore. It's just the romanticism that's left.
Hey now, that's not true! You are forgetting about the moral superiority over automatic owners!
/s

My niece is learning to drive on a standard transmission and already has a superiority complex about it. I'm trying to encourage her to be nice to her friends, most of them won't even know what a clutch is.

Really rather sad to see such animosity among like-minded motorists. I've officially submitted my application to join Vinnie's Manual Mafia, I've never owned an automatic transmission and never plan to for as long as I still have a choice. That said, I don't have any less respect for someone who specs a modern automatic transmission in a fun car, they're really good!

Just... play nice everyone... ok?

RE: What trim should get a MT option?
I'll agree that the JCW/GPs should be the last to give up the standard.
Typically I would say it's worth keeping a MT in the base trim to get people into the car for ~$1000 less, but lets face it, even if you qualify for the Oxford Edition the Justa isn't an affordable car anymore. Yeah, it's luxurious and well appointed for the price point, but not something I'm going to point a recent college grad towards.
 
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:58 PM
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I drive a manual. My wife drives a manual. Our oldest son learned to drive on a 2009 VW Rabbit manual(only kid in his driving school class with a manual). He drove it thru High School. Son #2 learned on that same Rabbit(only kid in his driving school with a manual) and drove it thru HS. Son #3, learn to drive on that same Rabbit(the only kid with a manual.....again!} he has driven it thru his junior year of HS..... let him know that there are no more sons, take care of that VW, it soon will be all your’s. Son #2 bought our old Mazda5 microvan to drive to and from college.......it’s a 5 speed manual too! Sadly my tow vehicle for our 1973 Datsun 240Z race car is not a manual........bummer. 6 out 7 cars isn’t bad! Lol
 
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by d2mini View Post
There used to be actual advantages to the manual transmission.
Not anymore. It's just the romanticism that's left.
I disagree. Manuals no longer offer superior fuel economy, to be sure, but I greatly value not having to argue with the automatic transmission about what gear is appropriate for my current conditions. I also appreciate the ability to feather the clutch to deal with snow (yes, I know it's bad for the clutch – I accept that).

Originally Posted by d2mini View Post
Same with gas vs electric engines. I hate electric for not sounding/behaving like a gas engine. But I can't deny the torque.
As much as I hate the thought at the moment, I know its only a matter of time before the gas engine is gone for good.
Here, however, we are agreed. And my beloved manual transmission and its clutch pedal are on the way out with it.
 
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Evlkarl View Post
My friend works for a Mini Dealer and he told me that as of 2 Weeks ago there have been only 6 man. Mini,s in the Country.
In this case that isn't because of customer demand. It's the new trim tiering system that MINI North America has adopted – every trim level above the basic gets the automatic by default. The dealer or customer has to opt out of automatic, not opt-in. Defaults are powerful tools. In this case, those defaults are helping kill the MT.
 
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:17 AM
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I haven't looked nationwide but our local MINI has always had a steady stream of manuals to choose from. For hardtops I'd say half of JCWs were manual with the optional exhaust, and about a 3rd of the MCS that they ordered were manual.

Last couple of months? Zero new manuals. I asked two sales guys about their absence and they didn't want to divulge if it was just a dry spell or a long term trend. It's whatever... I can't afford a new MINI anyway. ;]

Agreed with bratling on the #1 reason I drive manual. I'm an utterly helpless control freak. Interestingly enough, the tech for vehicles to "look ahead" and properly select a gear based on hills and curves is here, but I highly doubt anyone will take the time, effort, and expense to make these vision systems work with the gearbox brains when today's algorithms are good enough for... what... 98% of Americans?
 

Last edited by MiniAndo; 05-29-2019 at 08:34 AM. Reason: Added response

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