BMW CEO: Manual BMW Sales in the Low Single Digit Range

One of the most troubling problems the world of automotive enthusiasts is facing today is the extinction of manual gearboxes, especially on performance cars. That’s one area where BMW is still keeping close to their core values, being one of the few manufacturers out there that kept the stick shift alive.
BMW F10 M5 stick shift 1 photo
Photo: car and driver
You might’ve noticed that the M5, for example, is the only car in its segment that still offers you the chance to change gears manually. The new M3 and M4 models are also available as standard with the manual 6-speed gearbox, even though most of their competition forgot about such things.

However, the best tell that can show you exactly how well received and popular these gearboxes are is the sales chart. According to BMW North America’s CEO, dr. Ludwig Willisch, things are a bit different between performance and ‘regular’ cars.

That being said, the regular cars are fitted with automatic gearboxes in more than 90 percent of the cases, with manual becoming a rather extinct optional feature and not the standard. On M cars, things are different as the extra control you get with a stick shift is always appreciated and most people that buy such models want to track them and feel their grunt full-on.

Even so, the future of manual M5s and M6s could be in danger as they come to the end of their production cycle in about 4 years and the market might turn a blind eye and reject anything but an automatic. After all, it’s quite hard to control 560 HP and 680 Nm (501 lb-ft) of torque with the clutch... The only thing that could save them are the sales but that doesn’t depend on BMW anymore.
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