Another clutch bites the dust

Oct 13, 2020,08:07 AM

Mercedes-Benz will drop manual transmissions and "dramatically" reduce its number of combustion engine variants, to increase investment in electric powertrains and reduce complexity of R&D and production. 

The goal? Reduce spending 20% percent by 2025!  

During the company's capital markets presentation today,  Markus Shaefer, Mercedes COO and R&D boss, said, "We are going to reduce platforms and number of combustion engines very dramatically; we will drop our transmission count and eliminate manual gearboxes."

M-B said it would reduce the number of variants offered with combustion engines 40% by 2025 and 70% by 2030, both compared with today's level.

Mercedes currently only offers manual transmissions in the compact A-Class AND the midsize C-Class model families.

Production of M-B manual transmissions has fallen under .3 million from .5 million in 2016, while dual-clutch transmissions rose to .68 million from .46 million, and automatics rose to 1.56 million from 1.41 million.

Mercedes has played a big role in the history of combustion engines, including the launch of the first diesel in a passenger car in 1936. However, electrification and the cost of upgrading combustion engines to comply with tougher emissions regulations have forced all automakers to reduce combustion engine and transmission programs.

Along with the drop in transmission, there go clutches, clutch pedals, cables, hydraulic actuators, shift levers, boots, console openings, etc. While it might seem minor, it's a real and permanent loss of business for dozens  of companies (hundreds of employees) that specialize in those products, and loss of a real driving skill honed over many thousands (millions?) of shifts...


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Finally, another reason . . .

 By: Dr No : October 13th, 2020-08:23
. . . not to buy a Benz. Best, Shifty

Just as we are seeing young people unable to read a clock or watch with "hands", so no one under 30 can drive a stick shift

 By: cazalea : October 13th, 2020-09:17
so your audience of potential buyers is shrinking faster than the stock price of Nikola! Here is some data from CarMax, the largest used car sales company in the USA: Cazalea ...  

Amazing - the trend is clear

 By: VinnieD : October 13th, 2020-09:24
Manuals are dead within 10 years. Even Alpine passed on it...

This raises a question?

 By: marcobermann : October 13th, 2020-10:24
Hi all, Seeing as F1 has always been hailed as the testing ground for new technologies that slowly work their way into our road cars does this mean F1 even has a future at all? If all manufacturers are heading to all EV's much faster than many of us thoug... 

Frankly most modern manuals have some kind of automated feature

 By: VinnieD : October 13th, 2020-12:23
e.g. Porsche Cayman GT4 automatically blipping the throttle for you on downshifts

I was thinking about that yesterday as I drove my Lotus

 By: cazalea : October 13th, 2020-14:46
I double-clutch when I feel like it, and know how to do it because synchros don't generally last 100's of thousands of miles... like on my old 2CV. But a year or so ago I drove an Aston Martin and did a review here. It and the Jag F-Type make did all sort...  


 By: VinnieD : October 14th, 2020-00:32
I hate all these artificial gizmos. And the new Audi e-tron with its "sound engineers" or the i8 with 3 cylinders that sound like 8 of them. This is just fraudulent, like push-up bras but worse

Buy low sell high

 By: Ted-Lo : October 13th, 2020-10:10
Get the naturally aspirated and manual transmissions while you still can or you will pay dearly later if you want one....

Keeping my free breather !

 By: bimbeano : October 13th, 2020-10:59
I left my car at the detailer last sunday, it’s 10 years now, has 146.000 km. Manual 6 speed ( not the best but fun anyway), 2000 cc non turbo with 222 hp at 7000 rpm. From 5800 to 7800 rpm it stays above 200 hp. What more do i need ? ...  

Here in Belgium ...

 By: bimbeano : October 13th, 2020-10:56
... there are still a lot of old folks like my parents who buy a manual because they’re afraid they’ll not be able to drive an automatic 😁😁😁. I think still more than 60% of new cars sold here are manual. Anyway, i have 3 manuals and 2 autos in the Bimbean... 

I’m sad to report I sold my 5-speed Honda on Saturday

 By: cazalea : October 13th, 2020-11:43
One of the very very few hybrids with a manual transmission. Now I only have 4 manual transmission cars left — plus one extra transmission in the garage. 😪 ...  

Since selling my STi a year ago I now (for the first time in my life) have no manual shift vehicle. My current cars have really good traditional automatics (no CVTs!) but I miss having a

 By: InDebtButOnTime : October 13th, 2020-11:48
manual. Just took our Mazda CX-3 in for service and while waiting for it sat in a MX-5 Miata and wishsed I had more parking. I'd love to have one (with a manual obviously). I've had high hp cars and very small light, great handling cars that were only "qu... 

Times are changing

 By: Weems@8 : October 13th, 2020-14:48
Bob Dylan sang it. My current car is a manual shifted Honda. Drove today, and i shifted and do not mentioned i shifted gears. My next Honda must have a CVT. I like that kind of transmission. Manual or automatic, long as there is no technical error, it is ... 

When it came time for my oldest son to get his license...

 By: mdg : October 13th, 2020-18:04
...I bought a Mazda 3 6-speed for him to drive to school, etc. He was so mad. He thought he'd be getting an automatic. As soon as he figured it out he was in love. Not that's all he wants to drive (he has a nice BMW manual now). My younger son learned and... 

Automatic transmissions did this

 By: Tim_M : October 14th, 2020-07:57
I know there's an inclination here to blame EVs or regulators, but consumer preference and availability of automatics are the culprits. Even sports cars, which used to be a bastion of manual transmission sales, switched quickly to autos once marketers man...