The sky is not falling but the rumors are true. MINI USA will temporarily stop offering manual transmissions and it’s happening sooner than you might think.
According to MINI USA, the company will cease importing manual transmission MINIs across the board beginning with July production due to emission certification. More specifically the delay is caused by calibration testing that is currently underway.
To get past the rumors and second-hand accounts at MINI dealers we wanted to go to the source. So MotoringFile sat down with head of MINI USA Communications Andrew Cutler get insight on this production delay and what it means and doesn’t mean for the brand in the US. Andrew walked us through the news and how it affects each of the models in terms of manual take rates (no surprise – the JCW hardtop will be hit hard). He went on to say that manuals continue to be a huge aspect of MINI’s value prop and will continue to be an option for the foreseeable future on most models.
How Long will the Manual Transmission Production Delay Last?
At this time it’s unclear. We’ve seen these type of delays in the past and they’ve lasted from 1-4 months. But that’s our estimation not MINI USA’s. In fact Andrew point blank told us “As much as we at MINI USA would like to have a definitive timeline, it would be too early to say.”
To ease the pain MINI USA will finally be bringing the long awaited DCT transmission to Cooper and Cooper S model starting with July production. Along with the revised 8 speed automatic on the new 301 hp JCW Clubman and Countryman there will be a lot to talk about in the coming months. Hopefully a long delay in manual imports won’t be one of them.
Beyond this temporary production delay, the other big news is that MINI USA is also eliminating the manual option from some models all-together.
Look for a full rundown what what models will have the option eliminated along with official manual takes rates across all models for 2019 in the coming days on MotoringFile.