BMW To Keep Producing Manuals In The US… Phew
Last week we had some really shitty car news. Sergio Marchionne passed away which left me at least, quite dispirited over the weekend. So with the objective on starting this week off with some good news, let me tell you that BMW are going to be hanging on to the manual gearbox for a little while longer.
Car and Driver reported that BMW are still selling manuals in enough numbers throughout the US to warrant them holding on to the ‘outdated’ system. Because of this, they will keep on giving us the option for a clutch in models such as the M2, M3, and M4. This is great news for those of us who appreciate not only complete control over the car, but a connection that you don’t get with an auto ‘box.
Frank van Meel, head of BMW M division, said this:
“The BMW M2 Competition still has the manual for a reason, because in the U.S. we have more than a 50 percent take rate on manual transmissions for the M2. Buyers vote with their wallets for manual transmissions. Now, being an engineer, I would say from a rational standpoint that even though the manual gearbox is lighter than an automated gearbox, it uses more fuel and is slower, so it doesn’t really make sense . . . But from the emotional standpoint, a lot of customers say, ‘I don’t care, I want to have one.’ As long as we have these take rates on M2, and also the M3 and M4, we’re going to offer manuals, because we listen to our customers. Even though as an engineer I’d say we don’t necessarily need one. If demand is so high, then why not fulfill it?”
So there you go. If you want manuals to stick around, don’t comment on this post saying that, we need to go and buy the manuals. And maybe just then, other automakers will catch on, too. Until autonomy catches on of course. Then we’re all doomed.