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Old 13th July 2013, 23:07   #16
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Originally Posted by MaserQ View Post
One reason why manufacturers shy away from auto trannies in diesel hatchbacks and entry level sedans is that it pushes up the costs and therefore pricing it right would become an issue.
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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
The only reason I can think of is due to pricing. A diesel Ritz AT would easily come dangerously close to the pricing of the Swift ZDI. Similarily the Swift ZDI AT would come dangerously close to lets say the Vento TDI and so on.
Yes, pricing could be an issue. Still, I think there are enough people who should be willing to fork out that much extra for such a useful feature. Don't we see people paying for features they may never use - say sunroof? Also, why can't somebody think of an ambush strategy of bringing in AT in at least the mid variants and not just think of the top end versions?

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There is a ready market out there for these vehicles, maybe Tata could take the lead on the diesel automatic and Mahindra could do an automatic bike
Given the technological requirements, maybe not. Players who already have the technology outside may be better off in this game.

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Originally Posted by rohanjf View Post
I believe small displacement engines with large turbochargers may produce higher peak torque, but at the cost of a steep torque curve. This is not suitable for traditional torque converters. May be the dual clutch automatic transmissions can solve the problem, but I guess the transmission will need to have higher number of gears with closely spaced ratios, to keep the engine revving in its peak torque band.

We can complain about manufacturers not launching their latest technologies, but do we have the right to complain about manufacturers not inventing something for their primary markets, let alone emerging markets like India?
They will and they can if they need it really bad. Who thought Honda would come up lightning fast with a small diesel engine even a couple of years back. Amazed?

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Originally Posted by Achyuth Vaibhav View Post
Nissan contemplating on a Micra diesel A/T
Maybe they will. Maybe just to get a grand Guinness entry for selling the top variant at three times the cost of the cheapest one.

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Old 14th July 2013, 00:49   #17
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Also, why can't somebody think of an ambush strategy of bringing in AT in at least the mid variants and not just think of the top end versions?
Well ideally I would love to see them offer us options of configuring the car. Like say have some 2 or 3 different option packs which the customer can select. These can include the safety features, gadgets and luxury stuff and the choice of transmission. Life would become so much more simpler for the customer.
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Old 14th July 2013, 01:02   #18
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

It is a very simple logic. People need AT because they live in cities. A city dweller can't be doing anything more than 30 Kms a day. In that running, you can't expect to recover the extra cost of a diesel.
A person wanting a diesel,would be a penny pincher and easily give away the convenience of an AT.

By the way, don't know if anybody noticed but a Diesel Automatic Hatchback already exists in the Indian Market, I have even TD'd it!
The A 180 CDI,
and more recently the B180 CDI

and very interestingly they are cheaper than the Petrol counterparts
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Old 14th July 2013, 01:40   #19
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

Have been reading all the interesting points on this topic.

The current AT models don't generate enough volumes for any manufacturer to take this customer segment seriously.

In India there is a strong perception that mileage takes a big hit in AT models. Hence people tend to stay away.

Some good models which interestingly don't have an AT option even in their petrol version.

Some manufacturers choose to sell certain products only in manual version. For example
xuv 500 has no AT while Korean Rexton has an AT powered by mercedes technology. Surprisingly Scorpio has an AT option but not on XUV 500.

So it's no only diesel even in petrol version lot of deserving hatches don't get An AT option. Swift could have an AT option atleast in their petrol model.

Cost/ pricing, size of the segment would matter most when developing a diesel AT option.

Manufacturers should offer AT as an option at a higher price in some of the diesel models like Innova (fortuner has an AT option). I have a personal bias in favour of AT models and would think manufacturers are very slowly taking this segment seriously.

Ford scored few points by offering a petrol ecosport AT while duster sells only MT in both petrol and diesel models. HYundai has AT option in i10, i20, verna and other models. Other petrol models which don't have an AT version are Liva, Fabia, Etios and Swift. Please note this is not an exhaustive list. tHe first step would be to provide AT variants across all petrol models before taking a leap into diesel AT hatchback.
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Old 14th July 2013, 10:40   #20
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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It is a very simple logic. People need AT because they live in cities. A city dweller can't be doing anything more than 30 Kms a day. In that running, you can't expect to recover the extra cost of a diesel.
A person wanting a diesel,would be a penny pincher and easily give away the convenience of an AT.
  • I would ask, how many people buying diesel hatchbacks now (at over a lakh of premium over their petrol counterparts) have a daily running over 30 Kms? The premium of a diesel auto car over petrol auto car would still be not much higher than 1-1.5 Lakhs, no?
  • The running for a heavy city user, considering a few long trips where driving pleasure is the least bother, could easily exceed 15K km a year
  • A majority of owners will have this as their only four wheeler, implying even higher miles per year
  • Also, preference for diesel is not just about break even on running costs alone, but could also be based on after sales value, torque & above all, psychological comfort. Is the preference for diesels even in cars costing over a Crore just for the torque? Hardly anyone would believe that.

Last edited by CoolFire : 14th July 2013 at 10:42.
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Old 14th July 2013, 10:50   #21
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

The problem is here AT is offered mostly on top variants. Why can't we have a scorpio LX AT?

This is not the case for US where AT is available pretty much from the basic version. I would always prefer an AT with steel wheel over a manual with alloys and sunroof and rain sensing wiper.
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Old 14th July 2013, 11:40   #22
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

Hello all,

Interesting thread.

Decided to do some research on B segment hatchbacks sold in India, that are also sold in the UK.

Nissan Micra : only petrol versions sold in UK. No diesel. Petrol version is available with a CVT.

Chevrolet Beat (Spark in UK) : only petrol versions sold in UK. No diesel. Petrol version is available with manual only.

Hyundai i10 : only petrol versions sold in UK. No diesel. Petrol version is available with an automatic.

Hyundai i20 : petrol and diesel available. Only petrol is available with an automatic.

VW Polo : petrol and diesel available. Petrol available with 7 speed DSG. No diesel automatic available.

Suzuki Swift : petrol and diesel available. Petrol available with automatic. No diesel automatic available.

Fiat Grande Punto : petrol and diesel available. Petrol available with DuaLogic AMT. No diesel automatic available.

Renault Duster (Dacia Duster in the UK) : petrol and diesel available. Automatic not available on either.

Renault Pulse, Toyota Etios, Chevrolet Sail, Ford Figo, Honda Brio are not sold in UK (nor in Europe, if I am not mistaken).

Have not considered Skoda Fabia, Honda Jazz, Suzuki Ritz (Splash in UK), Mini Cooper, as they are either on the way out in India, or have relatively small appeal here in India.

From this I think we can understand why no international OEM offers the combination of an affordable diesel hatch with an automatic here in India.

This would be a unique combination for our market ... and is probably not worth the effort, time and cost versus projected sales, for international OEMs.

Cheers,

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Old 14th July 2013, 11:43   #23
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

India is price sensitive market.

Initial cost for Diesel A/T is higher than Petrol A/T.

Running cost of A/T car in stop and go traffic like Pune/ Hyderabad is more.

Considering this fact, I believe companies are reluctant to market Diesel A/T although, to me, it makes more sense to have diesel A/T car than a Petrol A/T car.

The market is also maturing and we are now seeing good acceptance to A/T in small and medium segment petrol cars. In a year or two diesel A/T cars will also gain foot hold.
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Old 14th July 2013, 13:00   #24
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Originally Posted by CoolFire View Post
  • I would ask, how many people buying diesel hatchbacks now (at over a lakh of premium over their petrol counterparts) have a daily running over 30 Kms? The premium of a diesel auto car over petrol auto car would still be not much higher than 1-1.5 Lakhs, no?
  • The running for a heavy city user, considering a few long trips where driving pleasure is the least bother, could easily exceed 15K km a year
  • A majority of owners will have this as their only four wheeler, implying even higher miles per year
  • Also, preference for diesel is not just about break even on running costs alone, but could also be based on after sales value, torque & above all, psychological comfort. Is the preference for diesels even in cars costing over a Crore just for the torque? Hardly anyone would believe that.
In long trips, Automatic is of little use, If majority of a person's usage is on highways, I believe buying a Manual makes sense, You save the money in buying an MT, and in most(if not all) cases, the FE is also more in MT.

I strongly disagree with the last point, IT IS based on the fact that it is cheaper to run a diesel car(at least that is the common thinking). Some stupid guys with running less than 1000 Kms/a month also end up buying Diesel, then they crib about high overall cost(Cost of the car+the service).
Psychological comfort is a weird thing to look after, If a person has some sense, he will also think about the higher Start-up cost of the Diesel car.

and In fact, the higher cost in the start is actually more expensive than if you were to pay for an expensive fuel.(take the saving at time of buying the car, put it in an FD, see the difference when you end up selling the car)

and simply, a diesel Auto hatch could end up costing above 9L ex showroom, the age old Sedan vs Hatch debate steps in.

Last edited by agambhandari : 14th July 2013 at 13:04.
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Old 14th July 2013, 14:05   #25
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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In long trips, Automatic is of little use, If majority of a person's usage is on highways, I believe buying a Manual makes sense, You save the money in buying an MT, and in most(if not all) cases, the FE is also more in MT.

I strongly disagree with the last point, IT IS based on the fact that it is cheaper to run a diesel car(at least that is the common thinking). Some stupid guys with running less than 1000 Kms/a month also end up buying Diesel, then they crib about high overall cost(Cost of the car+the service).
Psychological comfort is a weird thing to look after, If a person has some sense, he will also think about the higher Start-up cost of the Diesel car.

and In fact, the higher cost in the start is actually more expensive than if you were to pay for an expensive fuel.(take the saving at time of buying the car, put it in an FD, see the difference when you end up selling the car

and simply, a diesel Auto hatch could end up costing above 9L ex showroom, the age old Sedan vs Hatch debate steps in.

Hi agam can you please explain the basis of the statement " in long trips automatics are of little use". how many kilometres have you driven an automatic and manual in a single day on a long road trip in India ? May be that would help you justify what you say and what are the major differences of driving an automatic and manual on Indian highways or long distances. Please explain.

And the usage of adjective stupid for all the people who buy diesel cars. In India the petrol diesel debate never ends. The price difference of petrol diesel is a function of too many things. Last week petrol price was hiked three rupees. Even people who take decisions in OEM to increase or diesel manufacturing capacity have not been able to Figure out the right answer as our fuel pricing policy in India is not driven by any logic.

So at best we can express our opinion here and not broad brush diesel car buyers as stupid. For the record I have both petrol and diesel car.
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Old 14th July 2013, 14:28   #26
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

The single biggest problem, apart from the cost ofcourse is that most hatches (with the exception of TSI) use a simple torque converter which cannot handle the torque generated by turbo charged diesel engines.

If they were to add in a DSG/DCT that is bound to push the cost, and as a result of it would find few buyers. How many would buy a diesel i10 at 8+ lakhs or a Swift/Polo at 10+lakhs ? My guess not many

I feel the market needs to mature where people are ok spending 10+lakhs on hatches,that is when I see more and more manufacturers coming into the diesel auto hatch segment.
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Old 14th July 2013, 14:41   #27
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Originally Posted by Drivethru View Post
Hi agam can you please explain the basis of the statement " in long trips automatics are of little use". how many kilometres have you driven an automatic and manual in a single day on a long road trip in India ? May be that would help you justify what you say and what are the major differences of driving an automatic and manual on Indian highways or long distances. Please explain.

And the usage of adjective stupid for all the people who buy diesel cars. In India the petrol diesel debate never ends. The price difference of petrol diesel is a function of too many things. Last week petrol price was hiked three rupees. Even people who take decisions in OEM to increase or diesel manufacturing capacity have not been able to Figure out the right answer as our fuel pricing policy in India is not driven by any logic.

So at best we can express our opinion here and not broad brush diesel car buyers as stupid. For the record I have both petrol and diesel car.
Please go through my post again. I haven't called every Diesel buyer "stupid", I am talking about those who have a running of less than 1000 Kms a month, buy a Diesel car, because everybody else is too, and then crib about the high overall cost of a diesel car. Of course, if you use you car extensively, anything over 15K Kms a year, Diesel makes tremendous sense.

The main need of the AT is because many find it cumbersome, to go through constant clutching, shifting gears, and doing it again and again in the city traffic. Out on the highway, how many times do you have to do it. Stick it in 5th(or 6th in some) and cruise along at about 100 Kmph, that's what you can do on the highways for a reasonably long time.(Not with cruise control, Traffic even on the highways is still not always that good), but you rarely have to put you hand on the Stick or lift your left foot when cruising on the NH.
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Old 14th July 2013, 16:46   #28
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Originally Posted by MaserQ View Post
One reason why manufacturers shy away from auto trannies in diesel hatchbacks and entry level sedans is that it pushes up the costs and therefore pricing it right would become an issue.

Some manufacturers look at an auto version as a token product in their portfolio and as such outdated 4-speed autos simply do not cut it in the market. But I do believe there is an urban segment waiting to be tapped here. Small displacement blown petrols are gradually becoming the norm, likewise maybe all it would take is for 1 manufacturer to test the waters to open up a whole new sub-segment.
Well, its not the question of pricing or fuel efficiency, its the question of whether the manufacturers really see the need to invest in the R&D for a diesel AT. I think most of them are quite content with their sales currently and don't feel the need to bring in the AT models in our market.
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Old 14th July 2013, 18:23   #29
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

I think the main reason is that this would cater to very small market in India.There are mainly 4 types of users

Short distance,high traffic:They would buy a petrol automatic
Short distance,low traffic:They would buy mostly buy a petrol manual
Long distance,low traffic:They would buy a diesel manual mostly as a convenience of an automatic might not be really useful
Long distance,high traffic:These might be the users who would benefit the the most with diesel autos although everyone might not go for it.

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Originally Posted by FourWheelDrift View Post
From this I think we can understand why no international OEM offers the combination of an affordable diesel hatch with an automatic here in India.

This would be a unique combination for our market ... and is probably not worth the effort, time and cost versus projected sales, for international OEMs.

Cheers,

FourWheelDrift
If you see only companies like Mazda,Vauxhall are offering diesel autos in their small hatchbacks outside India and unfortunately these manufacturers aren't present in India.
Hyundai,Ford,VW etc. offer diesel autos only in cars a notch above which are available with larger,more powerful engines than the ones available in India.

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Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
The single biggest problem, apart from the cost ofcourse is that most hatches (with the exception of TSI) use a simple torque converter which cannot handle the torque generated by turbo charged diesel engines.

If they were to add in a DSG/DCT that is bound to push the cost, and as a result of it would find few buyers. How many would buy a diesel i10 at 8+ lakhs or a Swift/Polo at 10+lakhs ? My guess not many

I feel the market needs to mature where people are ok spending 10+lakhs on hatches,that is when I see more and more manufacturers coming into the diesel auto hatch segment.
Actually it's the other way,dual clutch transmissions(dry) cannot handle large amount of torque whereas torque converters don't suffer from such a problem.You just need to modify them to be able to comply with low torque curve generally seen in turbo diesels.
If you see most high performance cars have torque converters like the 8 speed ZFs etc

I think people are already spending around 10 lakhs on a DSG Polo and that too with a petrol engine so it wouldn't be a bad idea for manufacturers to give it a try atleast.
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Old 14th July 2013, 19:20   #30
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Well, its not the question of pricing or fuel efficiency, its the question of whether the manufacturers really see the need to invest in the R&D for a diesel AT. I think most of them are quite content with their sales currently and don't feel the need to bring in the AT models in our market.
Add to this the fact that we Indians have a tendency to forego convenience in order to save a few bucks. Cost-saving runs in our blood, and not that it's a bad thing, but one must know where to spend. If more Indians preferred ATs, economies of scale would cause the prices for them to come down significantly.

Imagine if taxi drivers used ATs instead. It would make their lives a lot easier - it would reduce their fatigue by a huge amount and may even lead to a fall in the number of accidents. But they are more conscious about costs and mileage (though, understandably).

Of course, there might be a few enthusiasts who prefer an MT, but I feel a good percentage of customers would benefit greatly from the option of an affordable diesel automatic.
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