Will Volkswagen turn off the manual gearbox?
It looks like internal combustion engines (ICEs) won’t be the only thing that may face extinction as automakers continue to move to electrification.
In the coming years, Volkswagen is said to be dropping the manual transmission as well. According to a report in the German magazine “Auto Motor und Sport”, Volkswagen intends to further reduce costs by only offering automatic transmissions in all future models.
The first models that may not come with a third pedal will reportedly be the third generation Tiguan and the new Passat from 2023. But why is Volkswagen already planning to abolish the stick shift? The company expects 50% of its sales to come from electric vehicles (EVs), all of which use automatic transmissions, by 2030. At the same time, Volkswagen plans to only sell electric vehicles in Europe by 2030.
Combined with the fact that Volkswagen is planning to phase out the internal combustion engine, the manual transmission faces an uncertain future in the company. Volkswagen is thus concentrating on the further development of the automatic transmission and the further development of its dual clutch transmission technology for the coming years.
In the Philippines, Volkswagen has abolished the manual version of the Santana, as it is now only equipped with a six-speed automatic. The other vehicles in the VW range now rely on a dual clutch transmission.
Since Volkswagen relies on automatic, this can likely also have an impact on the transmission options available for other brands in the Volkswagen Group. These include Skoda, SEAT and even Audi, which has already announced that it will only sell electric vehicles from 2026.
Will Volkswagen enforce its plan to abandon stick shifting in favor of self-shifting transmissions while Volkswagen continues electrification? Or could they continue to offer it in other markets where electric vehicles have not yet been fully introduced? Let us know in the comments.