While manuals only make up a small fraction of Australian Mini orders, popularity of the six-speed has slightly increased in 2022
Production of Mini models with manual gearboxes has been paused until early 2023, the brand has confirmed to Chasing Cars – but orders of the six-speed transmission are still possible.
While six-speed manual-equipped models only made up three percent of purchases in 2021, the popularity of the three-pedal option grew to four percent in 2022.
As at the end of April, about 25 manual-equipped Minis had been sold in Australia so far this year – compared to about 850 autos.
Last year, the British marque delivered about 75 manuals to Australian customers.
A spokesperson from Mini Australia told Chasing Cars the issue developed as a result of multiple issues that affected the wider car industry.
“The semiconductor supply bottleneck has impacted the availability of individual vehicle equipment options for certain Mini models,” they said.
“This issue has been compounded by the Russia/Ukraine crisis, which is restricting the supply of wiring harnesses produced in factories in Ukraine.”
The spokesperson stressed that Mini has not removed the long term availability of the manual option and expected the situation “to improve by early next year, possibly sooner”.
The decision to strip back the production of certain parts is a strategy utilised by Mini’s parent company, BMW, previously removing functions such as touchscreen functionality.
Other manufacturers have also used similar strategies with Volkswagen most recently opting to offer the Harmon Karon sound system as an optional rather than standard feature in the new Golf R rather than delay the flow of stock into Australia.
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