Published on October 8th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
Mercedes-Benz FINALLY Dropping Manual Gearbox Globally
Let’s face it, a Mercedes-Benz with a manual gearbox is not the best combination. Sure, there may be some 30 year old DTM legend that could pull this combination off quite nicely, but for the most part, the three-pointed star goes best with a transmission that knows how to shift itself. That’s what most product planners for the brand figured out decades ago, but it’s only NOW becoming the official path for the brand.
This was confirmed by head of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development, Marcus Schaeffer in a tweet by an Autocar journalist. Though no timeline was given, it would seem that the strategy for Daimler would be to eliminate manual transmissions in future vehicles.
If this were any other company, the news would probably be a little sad. But for Mercedes-Benz, this seems like a reasonable move. Unless you’re a taxi driver in Europe who still goes out and buys the latest base model E-Class to ply your trade, a stick shifter has no place in any modern Benz.
In Malaysia, a quick search on any popular used car listing site will show you that manual-equipped Mercedes-Benz vehicles are extremely rare despite how popular the brand has been here historically. Most manual-equipped Benz cars listed in running condition are of the W201 era proto-C-Class, the W124 era E-Class and the W123 era E-Class.
Mercedes-Benz is also planning to take electrification more seriously in the coming years, all while reducing costs and increasing profits. It’s going to be a tough few years for the brand. The last ten years have been marked by a huge expansion of their portfolio and now it looks as if some ‘trimming of the fat’ will be necessary.
In the last few generations, Mercedes-Benz have done some notable changes to the portfolio, including returning the CLK to an E-Class platform and adding a cabriolet variant to the mix (W213 era) and giving it the name E Coupé/Cabriolet (W212 era). They’ve also used the opportunity to create a C Coupé and Cabriolet along with an S Coupé and Cabriolet. It’s pretty clear that the last of these models will not get a successor, though the SL will continue.