It looks like internal combustion engines (ICEs) won't be the only thing that could face extinction as automakers continue to shift towards electrification.
In the coming years, Volkswagen will supposedly drop the manual transmission as well. According to a report by German publication 'Auto Motor und Sport', Volkswagen is looking to further cut costs by only offering automatic transmissions in all future models.
The first models that might not be offered with a third pedal will supposedly be the third-generation Tiguan and the all-new Passat, starting in 2023. But why is Volkswagen already making plans to drop the stick shift? The company expects that by 2030, 50% of its sales will come from electric vehicles (EVs), all of which use automatic transmissions. At the same time, Volkswagen plans to only sell EVs in Europe by 2030.
Combined with the fact that Volkswagen is planning to phase out ICEs, the manual gearbox is faced with an uncertain future within the company. With that, Volkswagen has focused on further developing the automatic transmission and refining its dual-clutch gearbox technology for the coming years.
In the Philippines, Volkswagen has dropped the manual variant of the Santana as it now comes with a six-speed automatic only. Meanwhile, the other vehicles in VW's lineup make use of a dual-clutch transmission.
With Volkswagen going all-in for automatics, this may also likely impact the available transmission options for other brands under the Volkswagen Group. These include Skoda, SEAT, and even Audi, which has already announced its plans to sell only EVs starting 2026.
As Volkswagen continues to embrace electrification, will the company push through with its plan to retire the stick-shift in favor of self-shifting transmissions? Or could they continue offering it in other markets where EVs have yet to be fully embraced? Let us know in the comments.