Finally Some Good News: Americans Are Buying Enough Manuals for BMW to Keep Them Around a Bit Longer

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I hear you engineers out there, yelling about how automatics are faster and better at shifting than us mortals. But, as we’ve explained time and time again, they don’t make driving much fun. Thankfully, BMW says that it will keep putting manuals in its cars. As long as we buy them, of course.

Y’all, it’s been a long week, filled with crappy news. But as a nice Friday afternoon sendoff, there’s this Car and Driver story, which reports that American BMW buyers are buying manuals in high enough numbers that BMW will continue putting them in specific models and their successors, like the M2, M3 and M4. Of course, once things start going autonomous, that will change.

But for now, it’s three pedals for us. Frank van Meel, head of BMW M division, said,

The BMW M2 Competition still has the manual for a reason, because in the U.S. we have more than a 50 percent take rate on manual transmissions for the M2. Buyers vote with their wallets for manual transmissions. Now, being an engineer, I would say from a rational standpoint that even though the manual gearbox is lighter than an automated gearbox, it uses more fuel and is slower, so it doesn’t really make sense . . . But from the emotional standpoint, a lot of customers say, ‘I don’t care, I want to have one.’ As long as we have these take rates on M2, and also the M3 and M4, we’re going to offer manuals, because we listen to our customers. Even though as an engineer I’d say we don’t necessarily need one. If demand is so high, then why not fulfill it?”


You tell ‘em, buddy!

We can make as much noise on here as we want, but the truth of the matter is money. If you buy enough manuals, they won’t go away. Keep buying the manuals. Don’t stop buying the manuals.