Mercedes-Benz is gearing up to say goodbye to manual transmission.
According to a report from German publication Automobilwoche, Mercedes-Benz will phase out production of vehicles with manual transmission from 2023.
“With increasing electrification, we see that customer demand is shifting towards electric mobility components, batteries and (partially) electric drive systems,” said a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson to Automobilwoche (translated).
“Gradually [Mercedes-Benz will] no longer offer manual transmissions.”
We knew this was coming as back in 2020 Autocar reported that now-Mercedes-Benz chief technology officer (CTO) said the German automaker is eliminating manual transmissions from its lineup.
No timeline was given at the time for when manual transmissions would be dropped.
Although this may seem like a surprise, Mercedes-Benz has been largely automatic-only for a while now.
The only Mercedes-Benz vehicle that’s currently available locally with a manual transmission is the Vito commercial van.
The four manual-equipped Vito variants use a smaller 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine rather than the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, which is mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The last Mercedes-Benz passenger car that was offered with a manual transmission locally was the entry-level SLC180 convertible in 2018.
We’ve reached out to Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia to confirm when the manual Vito models will be discontinued, and will update this story once we hear back.
It’s fitting that Mercedes-Benz is axing manuals as it has previously pledged to go all-electric by 2030 where market conditions allow.
According to the luxury car maker, all of its new platforms from 2025 onwards will be electric-only.
These comprise MB.EA for all medium to large vehicles, AMG.EA for performance cars, and VAN.EA for commercial vehicles.
Before that 2025 cutoff, Mercedes-Benz will introduce a new platform called MMA for smaller vehicles, which may still offer the option of combustion engines.