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Old 19th June 2011, 16:48   #31
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

That's a nice thread GTO. I can't believe you of all people started a thread on an AT Indica

Back on-topic, the question is "why no AT on the base variant?" which is a fair thing to ask. The whole concept of base variant needs a relook in India anyway- it's really annoying that basic safety features like airbags and ABS are treated as avoidable accessories in this country. In my opinion a "base plus safety" version offered in AT trim would have more takers than today, at least among car-savvy folks.

In defense of automatics, they are easy to drive, great for novice or reluctant drivers, convenient in stop-and-go urban crawls, easier on the knees not to mention having a certain aspirational value as well! Rather than shell a bomb for a gret ICE, alloy wheels, automatic climate control and the works, I would love it if the carmakers offered a slushbox and priced it appropriately. The Honda's S-AT would probably be a great case study if someone can dig up the data on how that sold and why it as retired.
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Old 19th June 2011, 17:29   #32
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

I read today in a Ratan Tata interview article "TATA will be a matured car maker in 2020" in which Ratan Tata has been lamenting on high tariffs on Autocomponenets especially Auto Transmissions the products of TATA are sub-par to international offerings as he was mentioning developing the A/T and other auto components by TATA themselves is long time consuming, wasteful exercise as it is not their business area and hence TATA is requesting the Govt of India to reduce auto component tariff rates.

I think Govt must ensure local indegenous 100% Indian auto Industry gets the auto components at reasonable low tariffs to offer better products benefiting Indian market buyers.
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Old 19th June 2011, 19:08   #33
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The order of the day is really diesel + AT.

Two manufacturers who can take automatics to the masses are Maruti & Tata.
Diesel + AT will be a God-sent combo.

But more than MUL and TATA - I feel Hyundai is the one manufacturer who can really take AT to the masses. They have an start over MUL too.

How many SX4's or Estilo's or any other MUL with AT do you see ?

I see loads of i10 AT in comparison on the roads.
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Old 19th June 2011, 20:28   #34
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

Attempting some "inverted" thinking, the reason may have more to do with how AT is viewed by the customer vs. the manufacturer compounded by production (and hence supply side) issues.

1. Consumers likely view AT not like an added feature to a variant but far more fundamental than that. They view AT vs MT as fundamental as an engine option of petrol vs diesel. Manufacturers, on the other hand, view it like another feature / variant to be added like airbags, ABS, ACC etc.

2. Variants of any model will have all the features of the immediate lower variant and some more. So if Verna has 3 models in 1.6 diesel, the middle variant will have all features of the lowest variant and more, the highest will have all of the middle and more and so on.

3. Manufacturers, when they view AT as a variant like above than as a sub-model, may see more constraints incorporating this feature in the assembly line, production planning and scheduling, inventory control etc. than opportunities.

4. So they settle for the AT feature more for marketing reasons establishing the high end, and churning out puny numbers for it trying to extract as high a premium as possible. Especially when possibly a high number of their customers employ drivers and the few that don't, and need the AT, may as well pay the premium.

But increasingly as the market shifts to diesel where the manual is more difficult to drive (clutch is tighter, drive not as refined) - the demand for diesel AT may rise leading to the mindset shift from the manufacturer.

However Santro AT (which I own) was available at the middle variant and not the top most variant - not sure whether they continue to churn AT at this variant.

Cheers,

Last edited by diffsoft : 19th June 2011 at 20:30.
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Old 19th June 2011, 22:22   #35
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

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AT + Petrols are a dying breed in India...dying even before they had a chance to take off. Primary reason? 70 bucks to a liter of the magic fuel. And face it, the petrol ATs are hardly fuel efficient. The market simply doesn't want petrol automatics anymore.

The order of the day is really diesel + AT. For one, diesels are inherently more fuel efficient and, thanks to all that torque low down, even diesel ATs give respectable mileage (just ask any Octavia or Laura owner).

Unfortunately, right now, we find ourselves in the classic "chicken or egg?" situation. Whenever I questioned a manufacturer on ATs, they say "sales are negligible". Well, if you offer the AT only on the top variant petrol engine, how do you expect it to sell? Somehow, most sub-10 lakh manufacturers are convinced that ATs just won't sell in India and couldn't be too inclined about offering it on base variants.

Two manufacturers who can take automatics to the masses are Maruti & Tata. For one, they have well-priced diesels. Second, with the volumes, a brand like Tata can easily sell a Vista AT diesel @ VFM price tag (Link to related thread (The case for an Automatic Indica!)). Others like Ford can also up the game with an AT Figo TDCi.

However, do note that for cars costing over 15 lakhs, AT's account for a majority of the sales. Yes, with the premium Germans, you can buy a base variant (e.g. 320d corporate ed) in AT too.
GTO, you couldn't have been more right. Yes, petrol ATs are a dieing breed. I see lot of petrol ATs up for sale and the ads repeating weeks after weeks. Manufacturers provide AT in top end sedans most of which are not self-driven; so buyer/owner chooses to buy an MT and save some moolah in the process.

As you have rightly said only Tata can rise to the occasion as no other manufacturer in India can match them on price front. Maruti can, too, but right now they too busy with Swift/dzire to think of anything else.
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Old 20th June 2011, 20:29   #36
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

Came across this data about Honda Jazz FE figures advertised in the US website. (2011 Honda Fit - Specifications - Official Site). I believe these are in miles-per-gallon

5-Speed Manual (City/Highway/Combined) 27/33/29
5-Speed Automatic (City/Highway/Combined) 28/35/31

See that even the city FE numbers (claimed) are higher for the AT. Is this because the 5 speed AT in Fit is more fuel efficient, tuned for better FE. AFAIK, the US Honda Fit and the Honda City in India have the same 1.5L engine. But the ARAI FE numbers for City MT is 16.7 and for City AT it is 15.5 (in kmpl). Expert comments, please.
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Old 21st June 2011, 00:09   #37
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

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I think the injury your father has was not caused by the clutch - many people get arthritis as they grow old - though once he has the injury it will hurt him. I think you should consult a doctor to avoid the situation from getting worse.

If a person already has an injury or a condition then that's a different matter.
Yes a doctor has been consulted couple of years back - It has something to do with a torn ligament that happened years ago. But the hard clutch of the M800 does not offer any respite either, and makes matters worst. We are planning to sell the M800 and I have asked my dad to use the i10.
Call it coincidence - I too have a bruised ligament in my left knee (picked up during school days) which prevents me from sitting with my legs folded for more than 10 minutes.
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Old 21st June 2011, 00:24   #38
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

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Yes a doctor has been consulted couple of years back - It has something to do with a torn ligament that happened years ago. But the hard clutch of the M800 does not offer any respite either, and makes matters worst. We are planning to sell the M800 and I have asked my dad to use the i10.
Call it coincidence - I too have a bruised ligament in my left knee (picked up during school days) which prevents me from sitting with my legs folded for more than 10 minutes.

Once things like ligaments/joints etc. have an injury, any stress must be avoided.

My suggestion would be to chuck even the plans for AT - hire a driver.

Years ago my father went someplace by bus, fell down in the rush, came back had rest next day and used his Bajaj Chetak for the whole of next week - just the fact that it was a kick-start machine made the situation bad enough that he had to be hospitalised for spine injury.

Before that we used two-wheelers (we had three) for everything except when we went out of town (or when my mother had to go somewhere) - when we hired a taxi. Immediately after the above happened I bought the first car I ever bought - M800, and hired a driver.



Let's keep in mind that in India you can actually hire a good driver for a relatively small salary (in Europe/US drivers may cost more than engineers - wrong choice of profession eh ...), and if you keep that in mind AT is not really you should be after for the comfort factor.
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Old 21st June 2011, 00:30   #39
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

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My suggestion would be to chuck even the plans for AT - hire a driver.

Thanks or the suggestion - but that option isn't really an option at all - any car that me/dad own(s/ed) only gets to see us on the driver's seat. No chauffeurs. Somehow we don't feel comfortable being driven around except when there is no other option (other's car / cab etc).
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Old 21st June 2011, 01:12   #40
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

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Thanks or the suggestion - but that option isn't really an option at all - any car that me/dad own(s/ed) only gets to see us on the driver's seat. No chauffeurs. Somehow we don't feel comfortable being driven around except when there is no other option (other's car / cab etc).

I can understand. My father was back on his Chetak the moment I left for Bangalore, driver and M800 be damned - he was back in hospital in 6 months flat.


If I remember correctly some years ago Santro could be bought with AT on lower variants too. I don't know the status now.



By the way, this may be but I have a hunch it may be related - why do you have the any-gear-to-any-gear arrangement on cars? what are the advantages of this arrangement over the sequential gearing (a la Bajaj Chetak)?
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:16   #41
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Default Re: Why no Automatic Transmission with Base Variant?

Note from Support: Please do not type one liners that do not add any value to the forum.

Last edited by Eddy : 28th June 2011 at 20:57. Reason: Note Inline
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Old 4th March 2013, 09:39   #42
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Default Why no Auto Transmission in low end variants?

Mod note: Merged with existing thread. Please SEARCH before starting a thread on a similar topic that has already been discussed before.

Hello,

Wondering why are there no Auto transmission cars specially in the low end variants and budget cars like the Alto's, sparks, beats or for that matter the Diesels under 6 lakh budget?

Thought this will be an interesting read.

Thanks
Deepak

Last edited by noopster : 4th March 2013 at 11:30. Reason: Refer mod note in post
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Old 4th March 2013, 09:47   #43
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Default Re: Why no Auto Transmission in low end variants?

Considering that an AT adds Rs.75-100K to the price of a car, would the car remain "low-end" or "budget-car" with AT?

Even if manufacturers offer AT in budget cars, they may not be offering their best AT technology at that price - which probably means old technology and low FE and one more reason for budget users to stay away from the car.
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Old 4th March 2013, 09:51   #44
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Default Re: Why no Auto Transmission in low end variants?

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Originally Posted by deepakchiniwal View Post
Hello,

Wondering why are there no Auto transmission cars specially in the low end variants and budget cars like the Alto's, sparks, beats or for that matter the Diesels under 6 lakh budget?

Thought this will be an interesting read.

Thanks
Deepak
There were zen and even 800s in auto. However, they had a pretty terrible transmission.

People buying cars in that segment mostly are mileage conscious. Dual clutch and DSGs give good mix of performance and also mileage but are expensive. Pricing would be impacted.

Diesel cars have higher torque and the auto for them would be more expensive to handle that torque.

AStar is probably the cheapest auto, followed by i10 and brio. Ritz seems to be priced a tad higher for now.
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Old 4th March 2013, 10:22   #45
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Default Re: Why no Auto Transmission in low end variants?

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Hello,

Wondering why are there no Auto transmission cars specially in the low end variants and budget cars
Deepak
It's a chicken and egg situation. Volumes Vs Profitability.
The real reason is that no Indian Gearbox vendor till date manufactures auto transmissions or even assembles them on their own.
All auto tranny's available in India are imports.

The reason for not manufacturing in-house slushbox's is the perennial question: "Will it sell enough..?? "
and there's simply not enough manufacturers who are willing to bite the bullet and place an auto variant as a REGULAR Joe in their high selling product lines. (Blame the myopic vision of their product planning department)

If tomorrow you have 5 Indian OEM's lining up before indian gearbox vendors committing 100,000 units of autobox offtake for their individual models, the economies of scale will be favourable, the autobox's would be made here,price differential between MT and AT will narrow down to max Rs 15,000 and we will all be happy driving around , giving our left legs a rest.

Until such a time, unfortunately, its "niet-niet" all along !
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