We were surprised to begin with that BMW catered to the U.S. market in such a fashion but it was nice that we finally got something everyone else did not. The M3 will continue to have a manual option however as according to Biermann, "The M3 needs to have a stick shift. It will always have a stick shift."
We have a feeling it will only be a matter of time before the manual is gone in the M3 as well. It all comes down to economies of scale and the trend we saw in the M5 will no doubt carry over to the M3 at some point. Expect to see this reasoning applied in the future to more models, "We just can't justify it anymore. It's a no-cost option, but it's been very difficult to do. Theoretically the stick is cheaper, but it's very low volumes and we have to strengthen everything in the gearbox and find space for the shifter and another pedal, so it doesn't work out cheaper."
Funny how a dual clutch transmission that costs thousands more than the manual simply becomes the cheaper option due to volume. Whether people want to admit it or not, the manual transmission is slowly dying.