Mini Stops Production Of Manual Gearboxes. For now (Phew)
Sometimes a headline grabs you and knocks you for six.
And sometimes a headline grabs you knocks you for six, and then you realise it’s not as bad as it seemed.
Recently, we experienced one of these – and luckily it was the latter.
A few weeks back we first became aware of headlines suggesting that Mini was to stop producing manual gearboxes, this in niche publications and so before it received any wider circulation.
That some manufacturers are culling manuals is well known, but could it be true that Mini was? An institution, a car so fun to drive, but one where the gearbox and joy of switching gears is so much a part of the fun – because this truly is a car that is fun to drive.
However, a bit of digging uncovered the truth. Yes Mini is stopping the production of manuals but no, this is not a permanent switch.
Like so many – if not all – car manufacturers they have been hit by supply-side issues. As anyone looking to buy a new car knows, there are lengthy delays. It feels like those sofa adverts that come out in November – order now to get it by Christmas, only the now is June.
Mini has decided to focus solely on automatics, the logic being that by limiting the options, they can rationalise their production and hit orders for a limited range, rather than falling further behind as orders accrue for both options.
They won’t need us to tell them the dangers of this approach. Yes, it allows them to speed up production, but only by cutting those who want manual adrift. Will buyers who wanted manual simply decide to go auto? This seems unlikely, more likely they will wait, buy from a rival or buy second hand – as is increasingly common.
However, we also appreciate that there are no easy answers, no good solutions, only less bad ones – and you could argue all day as to which option was best here. Ultimately, without a crystal ball, it is impossible to know how this choice will play out.
Speaking to Autocar, Mini said of the decision: “Current circumstances, including the war in Ukraine and semiconductor shortages, are causing supply chain restrictions across the global automotive industry.
“In order to secure maximum production output to meet increasing customer demand, our product offer needs to be simplified.
“This solution is the most effective way to ensure production stability so that we can continue to supply all our customers with new Minis.”
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At North West Transmissions we repair gearboxes or source replacement with guaranteed refurbished units.
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All reconditioned gearboxes come with guarantees for 12 months or 12,000 miles while reconditioned automatic units come with a re-manufactured torque converter that has a lifetime guarantee.
Our technicians are all highly skilled with vast experience in reconditioning and repairing all units – importantly their efficiency helps cut down the price of repairs and so too the cost.
Gearbox problems are all-too common. If you find yourself in need of a repair or reconditioned unit, that often being the more economical option in the long term, please contact us.
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