Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


View Poll Results: No Automatic for me because:
Fuel-efficiency concerns 236 18.63%
I love Manual transmissions! 507 40.02%
AT option is unavailable on my choice of car (including diesels) 387 30.54%
I don't think the cost premium (75 - 100K) is worth it 210 16.57%
Maintenance concerns 150 11.84%
Other reason (please specify in your post) 36 2.84%
Not applicable. My next car WILL be an Automatic 287 22.65%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1267. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 7th June 2015, 19:52   #511
Senior - BHPian
 
IshaanIan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hyd/B'lore
Posts: 2,364
Thanked: 2,954 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

I beleive it is simply the lack of automatics paired with strong engine offerings from manufacturers. Apart from that mileage concern is very real. Even with newer Dula Clutch and CVT tech, one simply cannot achieve the same fuel economy figures in the city as a manual in a third world country we can't all blame the public for being so cost conscious.

Me personally, can't let go of the level of control over engine speed and weight balance that a stick offers unless I'm buying some blisteringly quick hypercar that takes care of the way it carves a corner and comes with an automatic to allow me focus merely on placing the car.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 7th June 2015 at 19:59.
IshaanIan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th June 2015, 19:56   #512
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dombivli
Posts: 2,616
Thanked: 1,177 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

I think the poll should have had one more option, "I just like the clutch!"

All my cars have been manual, and I am not comfortable with an automatic, or AMT, rather anything that has only two pedals. If I did switch, I would most likely not switch back to manual. So I won't switch unless auto or AMT becomes more common place.

One immediate evil of auto/AMT cars is it will promote talking on mobiles while driving. Today even in manual cars I see almost half the drivers are on phone. With an auto, they will be even less bothered about driving.

Last edited by honeybee : 7th June 2015 at 19:58.
honeybee is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th June 2015, 20:08   #513
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 509
Thanked: 418 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

Above few replies make it clear that the reduction in FE and perceived higher maintenance cost were prime reasons why buyers did not prefer AT in past.

One more contributing factor IMO:
In past, there has been a subconscious paradigm in the buyers mind that AT is not for common man and it is for the premium cars of the elite. So, the upper middle class or middle class subconsciously thought, "Nothing wrong if I don't have AT. Having AT will be an overstatement socially and it will raise the eyebrows of those who are socially superior to me".

This attitude changed post liberalization and it changed fast in last 10 years, more in last 3-4 years, with a neo-rich, bold class. Better economy and the competitive market also reflected in Bollywood movies, which is helping to change the paradigm of the masses.

Another reason IMO is doubts about reliability and possible cost in case of breakdown. AMT has addressed this.

Change in paradigm, availability of AMT and increasing traffic hassels faced by urban commuter have contributed to better demand for AT.
Rahul Bhalgat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th June 2015, 20:36   #514
JD1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 245
Thanked: 152 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

My vote would go to the higher initial cost and higher fuel costs. Convenience has never been a priority in India, especially when compared to shelling out money. Some people will walk 2 kms to save 2 rupees so ATs can only be popular in countries where citizens value their convenience and ease of life (driving life in this case) as more valuable than money.
JD1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th June 2015, 20:52   #515
BANNED
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Pune
Posts: 585
Thanked: 616 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

The main reason for AT's not being popular in India was that they were not available in variants that an experimenting user would buy.
Most experimenting and heavy users who would have preferred automatics drive mid sized diesels, and until the unstable Verna diesel AT came in there were none below 30 Lakhs. Traveling upto 1 lakh km per Yr and meeting other sales engineers who travel in similar fashion I know that AT was on every ones mind for the last few years. Let Zest show a good market report the AMT will catch on in this category.
I myself was in the market for AT for many years, and just went in for an AT Ecosport last year, but being petrol even that car is not being used much. This year I'm changing my Polo for a Zest AMT, and the Innova which was sold year has not been replaced as yet, and will be replaced only when either ARIA or XUV500 with AT come into the market(ie 7 seater diesel with AT).

Last edited by Rahul Rao : 7th June 2015 at 20:56.
Rahul Rao is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 7th June 2015, 21:08   #516
Senior - BHPian
 
sumeethaldankar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 2,628
Thanked: 973 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

I think India has in the last 2 3 decades has witnessed a growth in the car segment. Before that the very rich could afford cars especially the imports from GM etc which i think were automatics. These cars where huge and gave poor gas mileage more so because they were automatics. Maybe that left a bad impression on the minds of the Indian car buyers that all automatics are gas guzzlers and the typical Indian mindset of "kitna deti hain" made them shy away from the auto tranny inspite of the convenience. Now this is just my humble assumption and i could be totally wrong about this and you guys can correct me.
sumeethaldankar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th June 2015, 21:47   #517
BHPian
 
srinath.s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Chennai
Posts: 88
Thanked: 97 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

I would have liked to see an option combining the OP's first and second, which goes something like: "The perceived lesser fuel-efficiency of automatics was the reason for them not being popular. With the advent of newer technologies like AMT that offer the convenience of an automatic with only a slightly higher initial cost and negligible, if not any, rise in running cost, people have become more receptive to automatics".

I would not agree with the statement in the first point that states "We are ready to spend more on fuel now for the added comfort". The Inidan buyer's mindset is still ruled by the "Kitna deti hai" paradigm. Now that manufacturers have started introducing automatic technologies whose efficiency is on par with manual's, people are willing to give it a second thought.

Every market needs a tipping point. Like how Apple did it for smartphones with the introduction of the iPhone (smartphones existed earlier, but were not mainstream), MSIL has done it for automatics with the AMT. Now every manufacturer is jumping onto the bandwagon.
srinath.s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 05:09   #518
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Delhi
Posts: 132
Thanked: 150 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by srinath.s View Post

I would not agree with the statement in the first point that states "We are ready to spend more on fuel now for the added comfort". The Inidan buyer's mindset is still ruled by the "Kitna deti hai" paradigm. Now that manufacturers have started introducing automatic technologies whose efficiency is on par with manual's, people are willing to give it a second thought.

Every market needs a tipping point. Like how Apple did it for smartphones with the introduction of the iPhone (smartphones existed earlier, but were not mainstream), MSIL has done it for automatics with the AMT. Now every manufacturer is jumping onto the bandwagon.
Completely Agree... I was desperately waiting for AMT as my city runner. Almost got celerio but then went for the zest diesel.

Already have driven it for 9k,would have loved the newer gen AMT box (now in Nano), but otherwise very happy. I go weeks now before i touch my xuv
AGwagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 08:48   #519
Senior - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 3,623
Thanked: 2,622 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

Why fix something that wasn't broken.

Although ATs would have been a boon had they been introduced decades ago and would have even become popular; I doubt the Indian market needed them. Especially, given the cost conscious Indian public.

It's only now that the benefit ATs is so significantly immense that people are okay paying that premium upfront and with higher operational cost.

I'm hopeful that this change in mindset will allow manufacturers to develop better and smarter AT boxes. Eventually, the rules of scales will benefit the public.
libranof1987 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 09:46   #520
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Rajeevraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,227
Thanked: 7,773 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

Voted for all except the Fun to Drive factor. While that is important for a small % of people (maybe most on this forum), for the vast majority of folks driving, a car is just a something to get them from point A to B in comfort and without burning too much fuel.

I think the main reason was the cost. Most customers even today are hesitant to shell extra for the variant that comes with say safety features. So shelling out a huge premium for AT was out of the question. Efficiency also plays a role, but I think the up front cost put off many people. The introduction of AMT has changed that to a great extent.

Manufactures were also not keen to get in enough AT options. A classic chicken and egg scenario. People were not buying due to cost, availability and efficiency concerns and manufacturers were not willing to spend time, effort and money on these draw backs because they did not foresee enough volume. I think the Celerio AMT broke this cycle.

The sheer chaos on road today. This was my reason to shift. Did not make sense to put my leg and arm through so much stress when there was an alternative. But the FTD factor was important to me and VW fulfilled that need. I also feel that an AT helps me concentrate/relax better as that is one less thing to worry about when driving on the congested and chaotic city roads.
Rajeevraj is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 09:54   #521
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Kochi
Posts: 67
Thanked: 53 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post

I have added a poll to take advantage of the collective knowledge in this forum on what I see as an unique trend in India. This thread will also go in as an input to a study project I'm doing on the booming prospects of automatic transmissions in India.
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I think the poll should have had one more option, "I just like the clutch!"
Spot On! honeybee.

I've two reasons to stick to manual until now. I've been taught at a very young age to be fully on control of the vehicle using clutch & accelerator, and use brake for stopping it - absolutely and sparingly. My car's brake pad used to run without a change for lifelong, when my dad was behind the wheels. Etched in that way from the good old Standard Herald / Premier Padmini days which don't even have a functional parking brake, I feel more in control when you manage all those stuff yourself. I'm one of the guys who uses engine braking to slow down, especially for control in descending terrain - than step on the brakes all the time. The AT gives a scary feeling of a run away car which you just try to hold using brakes alone.

The next is that, I might have a trouble once I am comfortable with the automatic. You often have chances to switch to manual (That's not going to disappear anytime soon) of your friend or family member as the situation may be, and I don't want to be at utter chaos then. The same happens with power steering, now I find it extremely difficult to turn a Maruti 800, which once upon a time felt feather-light compared to the Premier Padmini's.
roby.thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 10:09   #522
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Delhi / Singapore
Posts: 54
Thanked: 12 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

If I'd have my car primarily driven by a chauffeur, I'd find little reason to invest in an automatic.

Although the thought of letting the chauffeur drive your new car would likely never occur until after the first few months.
ricky_speed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 10:11   #523
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Thane
Posts: 7
Thanked: 11 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

Hi,
I have voted for the 2nd option as I believe, perception about low FE (true to some extent) was created by the fact that there were not too many options available in the market for the Hatchback or Sedan (mid level) segments (which is improving in some ways now).

An analogy - When I bought my first vehicle with my own money, Bajaj Discover 125 ES in 2003, the options available for me were Pulsar, Honda Unicorn, the Hero Honda twins (Passion and Splendor), etc. You can see that I have not mentioned any of the AT 2 Wheelers (Activa, Kinetic, etc.), simply because they were not marketed to me at that time.
Add to the fact that I was floored by Jackie Chan's ad for the Discover.

Readily available information is a very important criteria for any one to make a decision with respect to buying a car (which is a long term commitment for most of the people).
I don't know if there has been any study on this, but, I feel that there is an average of 5-6 years gap in between people buying their 1st and 2nd cars.

When I upgraded my Tata Nano to Ertiga CNG in Feb 2014, you can clearly see the primary motivation (Family size/Fuel Efficiency) behind doing the same.
However, at that time, I had enquired about AT versions for any such vehicles in the Compact SUV segment, but there was not much information available readily.

AT vehicles are here to stay and grow and my beloved Nano will lead the way in the same.
deepak2579 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 11:17   #524
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 262
Thanked: 108 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

All four points of the poll are valid facts. I have been using a slush box for around 18 months now and I look forward for long/short drives. Have been so used to this that I am NOT considering going back to MT vehicles again.

As some others have mentioned, AT concept is maturing and manufacturers are plonking in AT's not only in lower trim levels but in entry level cars as well.

AT's and AMT's are definitely the way for the future but MT's will continue to far outnumber them in India for quite a few years to come!

Last edited by @Chaand : 8th June 2015 at 11:24.
@Chaand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th June 2015, 11:26   #525
Team-BHP Support
 
navin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: mumbai
Posts: 22,372
Thanked: 3,783 Times
Default Re: Understanding the AT transmission myth in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Voted for all except the Fun to Drive factor.... I also feel that an AT helps me concentrate/relax better as that is one less thing to worry about when driving on the congested and chaotic city roads.
I agree. What fun to drive factor do you get when you have to deal with 2 wheelers, rickshaws, and other assorted modes of transport leave alone pedestrians who have no space to walk and hence have to resort to walking on the road.

When Honda's first CVT City was introduced I was happy to get an auto sedan that fit my budget. That was 2007. It's been a while since I have driven a manual in Mumbai (I found I still am able to when I rented a MT Passat on vacation in Europe).
navin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Santro Automatic to buy or not to buy? GeekSrik Hatchbacks 18 24th March 2012 15:27
why we don't see any agitation over MPs involvement in scandals vivekiny2k Shifting gears 3 22nd December 2005 17:07
Why foreign manufacturers don't sell small cars in India sbasak The Indian Car Scene 25 14th November 2005 08:41
Why I don't like Maruti? prkothan The Indian Car Scene 12 17th August 2005 21:55


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 09:32.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks