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Old 14th July 2013, 20:34   #31
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
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.
Maybe that is biggest issue here. Not many countries in the world would have highways which requires constant speed and consequently gear changes as ours. Even now, only a miniscule percent of our highways are access controlled free ways.

On most highways we still get pedestrian crossing, animals, signals, unruly drivers changing lanes in front, potholes, traffic snarls, what not . As you said, no wonder no one can use cruise control for any meaningful time in our Country.

My point is - just like a small SUV makes sense over a low slung sedan here unlike most countries, an efficient AT also does. Wait till you see the first launch, whoever that might be.

Last edited by CoolFire : 14th July 2013 at 20:36.
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Old 15th July 2013, 09:46   #32
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

Although it's sad we don't get any AT diesel hatches in India it is actually justifiable.

1. Most of the countries don't have the diesel vs petrol price difference in fuel. Most hatches are in Petrol even in UK with a very small number being diesel. Diesel is preferred in UK mainly for FE and emissions. You will need to design a very efficient AT box that will not increase emissions compared to the MT. This gearbox will have to be designed mainly for India and possibly for UK but the numbers are still too small to justify the R&D of a new gearbox. To develop a new transmission when you know the sales numbers are not going to be high is not a wise business decision whichever you look at it.

Secondly, why are the numbers going to be low? Price is the answer. We are already seeing that the AT version in petrol is 6.39L ex-showroom for the XV trim. The diesel XV trim costs 6.9L ex-showroom and the XL (O) is 6.43L. The AT transmission is very close to the Diesel's MT pricing. Going by the trend these days, the diesel is priced higher than the petrol by 1.2lakhs on average. The AT is usually is 80K to 1L more compared to the petrol MT.

Adding up the premium for the AT and the diesel results in the diesel AT being higher than the Petrol MT by more than 2lakhs. Not only is this a hefty premium for a hatch but it actually puts the hatch in a segment above and well into the compact sedan territory.

A Micra diesel CVT AT would be 7.5L ex-showroom or nearly 9.5L on road in some cities. That's more than a Etios, Amaze and Dzire diesel MT.

This is actually true even for high end sedans. The best example is the Superb. The Petrol TSI outsells the diesel every month. In June the Petrol Superb sold 75 vs 50 for the Diesel. Reason? The Petrol MT to Diesel AT has a price difference of 4.5L. The Petrol AT to Diesel AT has a 3L price difference.
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Old 15th July 2013, 12:32   #33
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

VW does offer a diesel automatic Polo in Germany. I assume since the comparison was specifically with the UK, this combination is not available in the UK.
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Old 15th July 2013, 13:30   #34
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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VW does offer a diesel automatic Polo in Germany. I assume since the comparison was specifically with the UK, this combination is not available in the UK.
I believe that is a detuned 1.6TDI engine with an output of 90Ps and 230NM torque. It has the infamous DQ200 7 speed DSG.

I am not sure but I think this combination is with a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). If it is with a DPF, it's safe to assume it will not come to India thanks to our diesel fuel quality.
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Old 15th July 2013, 15:18   #35
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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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.
Not all Indians. If that were the case, we would have seen only Nanos and Altos on the streets. Today Nano is nearly extinct and Alto sales are also slipping. I wouldn't mind paying 9 lakhs for a Swift Diesel hatch. And I'm sure I'm not alone. Granted, it will not sell in big numbers. But then not all cars sell in large numbers. Small numbers have not deterred MUL from launching new SX4. How many SX4 does it sell anyway? I would say, instead of launching new SX4 or new Vitara, why don't they launch their hugely popular Swift diesel with auto. Why don't they try first and find out if it would fail. They just seem to be concluding without trying. They have AT boxes on cars from A-Star to Vitara. All petrol. Why not one on diesel?

Personally, I 'm soooo badly addicted to AT that I do not touch a car with MT box. Don't care how good it is. Because in my town you change gear every 10 seconds. Do the math and see how much you are taxing your left arm and knee. I don't care if car has no power windows or bluetooth or even music system. It is AT for me at all costs. By the way, I do not have any medical condition or something. I am very healthy and ride SBKs.
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Old 15th July 2013, 16:05   #36
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

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Not all Indians. If that were the case, we would have seen only Nanos and Altos on the streets. Today Nano is nearly extinct and Alto sales are also slipping. I wouldn't mind paying 9 lakhs for a Swift Diesel hatch.
There is a huge difference between a Nano and say a Swift, in terms of space, features, and as a status symbol. My point was that a person who has already decided to buy a Swift more often than not will sacrifice a lot of features to save money. This is the reason that the L and V variants fly off the shelves compared to the Z variants. People even reject important safety equipment like ABS saying it costs extra. This nature is inherent in Indians, is what I meant.

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Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Personally, I 'm soooo badly addicted to AT that I do not touch a car with MT box. Don't care how good it is. Because in my town you change gear every 10 seconds. Do the math and see how much you are taxing your left arm and knee. I don't care if car has no power windows or bluetooth or even music system. It is AT for me at all costs.
I am addicted to AT too, buddy. But I am also addicted to the other features and creature comforts like power windows, automatic climate control, good music system with steering controls, xenon lamps, the lot. I am one of those people who will only buy the top variant of any car.
If there were many more people like me, maybe the manufacturers would stop charging so much premium for these things!
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Old 16th July 2013, 15:51   #37
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Default re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

Is there any technical reason that prevents mating a small capacity diesel with an autobox?

If price is a concern, then I wonder if it can be managed by stripping the turbo+intercooler in AT versions.
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Old 16th July 2014, 00:32   #38
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Default Re: Diesel + Automatic Hatchback: Who wants to create the segment?

Agree with BHPians here who have posted here that a small diesel with an auto tranny would make a lot of sense. Also for our "kitna deti hai" country a diesel autobox ought to make more sense than a petrol one. Besides manufacturers charging more for diesel cars as against their petrol counterparts is merely a pricing function an not something that fully justified by the cost of production. Further recent automatics have shown an ability to deliver FE which is on par with their manual counterparts which may have further reduced manfacturers' inclination to invest in diesel auto tech.

More importantly the Tata Zest with the diesel in the AMT avatar may have just filled this gap. Let's see if the market rewards them for being the first mover.
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