Say goodbye to manual transmissions in Mercedes cars.
Mercedes is making a big push for electrification right now. Currently, the EQC is the only fully electric model the German automaker offers in the US, but its EV range will soon expand with production versions of the Vision EQS luxury sedan and Concept EQA crossover, along with the smaller EQE sedan and SUV and the EQB subcompact crossover. This electric onslaught won't be cheap, meaning that Mercedes will need to cut costs any way it can. One measure that will help Mercedes achieve this is removing manual transmission options across its lineup.
As reported in a social media post by auto journalist Greg Cable, Mercedes' R&D boss Marcus has confirmed Mercedes will "eliminate manual transmissions."
No timeframe was provided for the death of Mercedes' manual transmissions. US models won't be affected by this decision, however since Mercedes hasn't offered a manual option for American customers since the SLK250 (now sold as the SLC) was discontinued back in 2015.
European customers will soon have fewer transmission options to choose from, however, as the A-Class Sedan and GLA-Class are currently offered with a manual outside of the US, unlike their US counterparts that are only available with a seven-speed automatic. UK customers can also row their own gears in the A-Class hatchback with an optional six-speed manual gearbox, but this will be scrapped in favor of an automatic.
Mercedes' decision to scrap manual gearboxes altogether isn't surprising since there isn't a high demand for this transmission option in high-end luxury models. As part of the cost-cutting plan, Mercedes is also planning a "very dramatic reduction in combustion engines" according to Cable, as well as a "substantial reduction in platforms," meaning more models will share the same platform in the future to reduce development costs.
Mercedes also aims to reduce operating costs by more than 20 percent by 2025. R&D costs will also decrease by over 20 percent by 2025 compared to 2019, while variable costs will be reduced by one percent by 2025 compared to 2019.