Mini is currently developing the next generation of its core models, including a three-door hatch and the Countryman crossover. Production of the outgoing generations is still going on, but the automaker has decided to simplify the lineup for the remaining months on the assembly lines. Supply chain issues are forcing Mini to halt the production of cars with a manual gearbox.
As the microchip crisis continues and other problems affect the output of the automotive industry, Mini wants to “ensure production stability,” as Autocar reports, and meet the growing demand for its product. As far as we understand the situation, it seems that this decision is for the global markets, not only the United Kingdom. For now, Mini hasn’t confirmed whether this move will be permanent or just temporary until the chip shortage is eased.
Gallery: 2023 Mini Cooper Pat Moss Edition
“Current circumstances, including the war in Ukraine and semiconductor shortages, are causing supply chain restrictions across the global automotive industry,” Mini said in a statement. “In order to secure maximum production output to meet increasing customer demand, our product offer needs to be simplified. This solution is the most effective way to ensure production stability so that we can continue to supply all our customers with new Minis.”
It will be very interesting to see whether the next-generation Mini models will be available with a manual gearbox. If the chip shortage continues well into next year and beyond, we won’t be surprised if the new hatch and Countryman arrive as automatic-only models, at least initially. Both vehicles are expected to debut before the year’s end and go on sale during the first quarter of next year.
A fully-electric version is also on its way, most likely coming in two flavors. An entry-level model will come equipped with a 40-kilowatt-hour battery providing a range of about 185 miles (297 kilometers) at a single charge. A more powerful variant with a 50-kWh battery pack is also in the cards with a projected range of 250 miles (402 km) and more than 200 hp (147 kW).