A new report from Germany suggests that Volkswagen may be putting an end to its manual gearbox by the end of this decade as the manufacturer pushes forward towards a fully electrified line-up. The first models to do away with the transmission will be the Tiguan and Passat which are sold with the brand’s six-speed in select markets.
As Auto Motor Sport reports based on information from unnamed sources, this is partly due to the push towards electromobility as well as the diminishing demand for manual transmissions. According to market analyst JATO, of a total of 5 838 models across all manufacturers only 1 870 vehicles were sold with manual transmissions. 218 of these were five-speed and 1 652 were six-speeds. In a total of 353 units sold by Volkswagen, 214 are currently equipped with an automatic transmission including the DSG and 139 with a manual.
While not available in higher-end cars here in South Africa, manual transmission Volkswagen products act as entry-points for certain models such as the Caddy, Polo (including Vivo and Sedan), T-Cross and Transporter.
The German publication adds that with this decision, Volkswagen is following the Mercedes-Benz strategy. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer announced some time ago that it would no longer offer manual transmissions in their models. Here, however the sales figure of manual transmission cars was lower than that of Volkswagen’s.