Head of R&D has stated that the company will be significantly reducing platforms and eliminating the manual transmission.
Shortly after the announcement of an all-new modular platform and six new all-electric Mercedes-Benz models comes more breaking news from the luxury car giant. Further initiating cost-cutting measures, the marque has announced that they will be powering ahead in future development and ditching old technology – including the manual gearbox.
In a tweet from German automotive journalist Greg Kable, he stated that the Daimler board member and director of R&D operations at Mercedes-Benz, Markus Schaefer, has informed him about the brand’s short-term plan to substantially reduce the number of Mercedes platforms, dramatically reduce the use of combustion engines, and completely ditch the manual gearbox.
In many overseas markets, the last passenger car Mercedes-Benz offered in manual configuration were basic variants of the SLK roadster, culled in 2016; so despite having no manual gearbox options in most worldwide markets, some domestic European car markets will still be affected by this move – with many current base offerings such as the A-class switching to automatic boxes. This move means that the brand will be able shift manual-transmission investments directly into electric vehicle development.
In additon, Daimler states that “investments in combustion engine development will decline quickly”, with the company planning to reduce the number of ICE vehicles in their line-up by a staggering 70 percent by 2030; and further cost-cutting measures will see platform cuts, moving next generation Mercedes vehicles onto similar-to-another modular architectures in a bid to save money wherever possible.
The marque’s short-term goal is to decrease variable costs by 1 percent and fixed costs by a whopping 20 percent by 2025.