For the near future, Mini‘s range will be automatic-only.
The BMW-owned brand has temporarily paused production of six-speed manual transmissions as supply chain issues worsen.
At this stage production is scheduled to resume in early 2023, according to a Mini Australia spokesperson.
Originally reported by Autocar, Mini confirmed the decision to pause production manual transmission is due to semiconductor and wiring harness shortages which have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
“The semiconductor supply bottleneck has impacted the availability of individual vehicle equipment options for certain Mini models,” said a Mini Australia spokesperson in a statement.
“This issue has been compounded by the Russia/Ukraine crisis, which is restricting the supply of wiring harness produced in factories in Ukraine.”
“The ‘6 speed manual’ transmission has not been deleted from our product offer, however clients wanting to order a vehicle with this specification, will be looking at a production date early next year.”
“We expect the situation to improve by early next year, possibly sooner.”
Mini is one of the few brands in Australia offering a manual transmission on more than half its line-up.
In fact, 27 of the 43 model variants Mini offers locally could be specified with a six-speed manual transmission as a non-cost option before the production pause.
The only models without a manual transmission option locally are the Countryman SUV, John Cooper Works Clubman, and the Mini Electric Hatch.
Mini sold a total of 104 manual cars in 2021 out of a total of 3579. This means manual-equipped Mini models accounted for 2.9 per cent of sales in 2021.
All Mini 3-Door Hatch, 5-Door Hatch and Clubman models sold in Australia are produced at the company’s plant in Oxford, England, whereas Countryman and Convertible models are produced in the Netherlands.
Mini isn’t alone in being forced to slow down or stop production because of semiconductor and wiring harness shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.
Brands such as Mini’s parent company BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Skoda and Volkswagen are in a similar boat.