Mini has temporarily stopped building cars equipped with a manual transmission due to supply chain-related issues. The company decided to prioritize production of automatic vehicles, which outsell stick-shifted models by a wide margin, and the move might be permanent.
"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," a representative for the BMW-owned firm told British magazine Autocar. Mini added this is the best way to avoid delivery delays.
Affected models include the two- and four-door variants of the Hardtop, the Convertible and the front-wheel-drive Cooper S Clubman. This isn't the first time that Mini goes automatic-only; it temporarily stopped importing stick-shifted cars in early 2019 due to calibration-related issues. While the manual quickly made a comeback, whether Mini will resume building cars with three pedals this time around is unclear.
Similarly, what effects this decision will have on the American market (beyond the obvious lack of a manual transmission option) remains up in the air. There may be pricing implications. Adding a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the 2022 Hardtop Cooper two-door cost $1,500, while the Cooper S model's automatic was priced at $1,750, so it's not unreasonable to assume that pricing will go up.
Autoblog has contacted Mini to learn more about this decision, and we'll update this story if we hear back.