The BMW M Series may lose manual transmissions soon, according to BMW M Series chief Frank van Meel. The decision has disappointed some car enthusiasts who feel that a manual gearbox is necessary to get the full experience of the fun and involvement of driving a high-horsepower sports car.
But the interest in manual transmissions, or stick shifts, has fallen over the years as the popularity of automatic transmissions has gone up, so it makes sense that BMW would make this decision (although nothing is set in stone yet). Automatic transmissions save fuel and require less instruction to operate, and most cars sold today are sold with an automatic gearshift.
However, since the M Series caters to driving fanatics, we can’t rule out the persistence of the manual transmission just yet. But automatic transmissions definitely make up a majority of sales, and BMW might not find manufacturing manuals for such a small audience worth the price.