According to unnamed sources within the British brand, who spoke with Autocar under the cover of anonymity, supply-chain issues have led to a stall in production, and the only way out of it was to stick to building automatic transmissions. It is not clear what component is missing to let MINI build cars with manual gearboxes, though.
While the global chip shortage has left many vehicles without some of their options, additional equipment, or even features, this would be the first time when a manual transmission has been eliminated from a range because of the shortage.
On the other hand, the lack of parts that are quoted might refer to components sourced from Ukraine, where there is a war going on, and several other suppliers were affected by it, not to mention millions of people in the country. The factory in Oxford was shut down earlier this year because of another parts shortage that was linked to the situation in Ukraine.
Unlike other brands, who have pledged to kill their manual transmission options sooner rather than later, as well as those who already have done so for various reasons, Mini still offered a manual transmission option for each of its models, except for its EV.
Eventually, dwindling sales will motivate MINI to stop offering manual transmissions in its range. Before that happens, the Brits might try to cash in on the whole manual transmission trend and offer a swansong edition of them when the supply shortage is resolved.
Do not bet on it happening, as MINI might just stop making manuals altogether, or the brand might revert to its normal offer as soon as possible. We have requested additional information on the matter, and we will update the story if we get any more official information.
According to a PR representative of the British marque, the production halt for manual transmission models will happen starting in July. That was the only information on the matter that the representative could provide at this point on the matter.
If we think about this differently, this means that ordering one now might still be possible, within a couple of limits. For example, it depends on the factorý's production schedule and available parts stock, which means that the dealer might try to place an order for your desired vehicle with a manual transmission, but the order might be rejected by the system.