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October 15, 2020

Mercedes-Benz to Drop Manuals, Reduce Engine Variants to Drive Down Cost

Mercedes-Benz will drop manual transmissions and dramatically reduce the number of combustion engine variants it offers as part a cost-cutting drive by parent Daimler to help ramp up electric investment.

The German luxury automaker wants to reduce complexity within the development and production processes with a goal of slashing spending 20 percent by 2025 from 2019 levels. With that, it plans to reduce the number of variants offered with combustion engines by percent by 2025 and 70 percent by 2030, both reductions are compared with the current level. It will also cut investment in combustion engines “brutally” compared to the current level.

In addition, it will also phase out manual transmissions offered in its passenger cars between now and 2030. For example, while the current C-Class is offered with a manual gearbox, its preplacement, due next year, is not expected to offer a manual transmission. In total, manual transmissions account for just 5.7 percent of Daimler’s gearbox production. And as electrification grows, dual-clutch transmissions are expected to take their place.

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