Switch to electrification killing the gearbox
Expect rest of VW Group to follow
It’s an inevitability that is getting buried under announcements from automakers saying that they are moving to electric vehicles, but it’s still one to be aware of. The manual gearbox is disappearing too, with a new report saying that Volkswagen will have its first auto-only model from 2023 and the stick-shift will be gone from 2030.
News of that move comes from Auto Motor und Sport, reporting that the third-generation Volkswagen Tiguan will be the first to drop the manual completely. Though it’s not sold with a third pedal here, the crossover is in much of the rest of the world. Following that will be the next Volkswagen Passat, which will happen in the same year.
The report says that this will happen in Europe as well as the U.S. and China, and that any models from 2030 would no longer have a manual transmission.
Market analysts Jato said, according to the report, that of the 5,838 models and trims sold across all manufacturers in Germany that only 1,870 offer a manual. The 353 vehicles of the current VW line show 214 with an auto and 139 with a stick.
The transmission transition will likely affect all of the Volkswagen Group brands. Some, like Bentley, already don’t offer a stick. The group’s lower-priced brands, like Seat and Skoda, may hang onto the option for a little bit longer, but once the transition starts, the shrinking scale will likely make that difficult for them to offer.