Volkswagen’s Chinese joint venture, SAIC Volkswagen, has announced it will stop production of manual transmissions for its vehicles starting in March 2023. This information is known from a letter the company sent to their employees at SAIC Volkswagen’s transmission factory in Shanghai, China.
Launching the Carscoops page today, Friday, November 18 2022, SAIC Volkswagen will begin the process of closing the manual transmission production operation and liquidating assets starting March next year.
This decision was taken because the vehicle market in China is undergoing a very rapid transformation. The emergence of cars with hybrid and electric power that use automatic transmissions, makes the need for manual transmissions less and less.
To note, currently SAIC Volkswagen offers manual transmission on a number of vehicles, including Santana, Lavida and Polo. It is not known whether the decision to discontinue production of the manual transmission will affect other joint venture brands, such as Audi and Skoda, or not.
China isn’t the only country experiencing a decline in interest in manual transmissions. This type of transmission is rapidly declining in demand around the world because technology has indeed developed and automatic transmissions are much sought after by consumers in the world.
The long-term fate of manual transmissions seems to have been seen after the rise of electric vehicles on the market and the many plans to phase out the sale of combustion engine cars. But for the short term, like this manual transmission, it will still have its users on the market.