Currently reading: Mercedes to 'eliminate' manual gearboxes and cull ICE powertrains
German marque is keen to simplify its range and cut costs, and fan favourites have entered the crosshairs
James Attwood, digital editor
News
2 mins read
6 October 2020

Mercedes-Benz will phase out manual transmissions and “dramatically” reduce the number of internal combustion engines in its line-up as part of a major overhaul to simplify its range and lower production costs.

The German manufacturer has made the dramatic moves as part of a major new strategy designed to achieve “profitable growth” in the luxury segment. The revamp includes a focus on electric powertrains, developing in-car software systems and a major cost-reduction plan to boost profitability - which will lead to the elimination of manual gearboxes in its line-up.

“We need to reduce complexity,” said Mercedes-Benz research and development boss Markus Schäfer. “Complexity adds costs. We're going to reduce future products, reduce platforms substantially, combustion engines will be very dramatically reduced and we will eliminate the manual transmission.

“We're going to a more modular strategy, and we will reduce the number of options significantly."

No timeline has yet been given for Mercedes' elimination of manual gearboxes, although it will likely be achieved by phasing out cars with the option as automatic-only replacements are launched. The firm has also given no details of how many combustion engines it plans to cull.

The overall goal of the new cost-reduction strategy is to reduce fixed cost by more than 20% compared with 2019 by 2025. The firm has also targeted cutting capital expenditure and research and development spending by more than 20% over the same period.

The share of cars sold with manual gearboxes has shrunk dramatically in recent years, likely making it hard for Mercedes to justify continued investment in their development, especially as the firm increasingly focuses on direct-drive battery electric vehicles, which don't require gearboxes in the traditional sense. 

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6 October 2020
The manual gearbox is a relict, really. The autos, be them double clutch or torque converter, are better in every way and obviously, not limited to 6 speeds.
It won't be long until only cheap models with recycled parts will use manual gearboxes.

6 October 2020
Andrew1 wrote:

The manual gearbox is a relict, really. The autos, be them double clutch or torque converter, are better in every way and obviously, not limited to 6 speeds.
It won't be long until only cheap models with recycled parts will use manual gearboxes.

6 October 2020
Andrew1 wrote:

The manual gearbox is a relict, really. The autos, be them double clutch or torque converter, are better in every way and obviously, not limited to 6 speeds. It won't be long until only cheap models with recycled parts will use manual gearboxes.

 

Except for those of us who still enjoy the tactile interaction with a machine and prefer a manual box, of course. There are many mechanical devices that produce a great result but require more effort from the user and have become extinct, replaced by electronics. I still wear a mechanical watch and use a stove top coffee maker. Objectively they are bettered by electronic equivalents, but they give me more satisfaction.

6 October 2020

Does not matter scrap that you and I prefer tactile interaction. The unfortunate truth is the vaste majority of purchasers of new Mercedes Benz don't care at all, and as Mercedes say in the article its being done for a reason. Like it or not Tesla and Porsche are struggling to meet demand for their electric vehicles whilst in Porsches case Panny's, 718's and Macan's sit unsold at the dealerships. I don't like what Mercedes is announcing but I think its a good business decision.

7 October 2020

In what?  I'm surprised.

6 October 2020
Try telling that to Ford and VAG customers...

6 October 2020

Autos are more expensive, heavier, need maintenance, less reliable and more expensive to repair. oh and saying manuals are limited to 6 speeds is just plain dumb.

6 October 2020

I much prefer a manual gearbox, but in truth Mercedes have not made a car i would want, with a manual box for a very long time, so i dont think them stopping offering them will make any difference. But there are plenty of other car makers where i really would miss it. As for gears, there are quite a few 7 speed manuals out there (and one in my garage)

6 October 2020

 Isn't this just Brexit protection?,Jaguar at it too.

6 October 2020

Not sure what your suggesting Peter, can you expand upon your posting?

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