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Old 19th January 2016, 15:58   #16
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

I think that there could be two potential reasons for not getting the AT on the Elite i20

1. The cost - The 1.4L that served on the previous gen i20 was competent. But it did not sell in huge numbers. Reason could be due to the higher price because of the sub 4 meter and less than 1.2L petrol engine rule which gets a substantial excise duty exemption. If they had launched an automatic even on the Sportz variant, it would have crossed the Jazz V which comes with a lot of good features compared to the i20.
2. The performance - Hyundai surely knows that their petrol hatchback is no match in terms of performance for the competition. It lacks a lot when it comes to the Baleno, Figo and the Jazz. Adding an A/T to the existing 1.2L engine in an already sluggish car would not make things any better. Plus, the people who buy the Jazz V also get the bragging rights for the cool paddle shift (which is not available in cars above its segment).

Just my 2 cents. But the best answer would come from Hyundai and its high time they respond to it.
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Old 19th January 2016, 16:16   #17
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

This has to be the most intriguing puzzles of recent times for car lovers. There is this car, a stunner by looks, not a boat unlike the other siblings, which has everything to arouse the envy of neighbours, but for the absence of an auto box! The answer to the puzzle may lie in the absence of automatics in the segment , except for Polo which is not a competitor by any breadth of imagination.But with Baleno starting to eat into i20 sales and Jazz also getting the automatic version, Hyundai would have to solve this puzzle soon.

Last edited by The Rationalist : 19th January 2016 at 16:18.
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Old 19th January 2016, 16:58   #18
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

A very interesting question. Here are my reasons.
  • They cannot launch thee 1.2 + 4 speed AT. It is probably just about adequate for the Xcent, I assume it would perform quite poorly in the Elite i20. Probably the reason why even the previous generation had the 1.4 for the AT.
  • The 1.4 AT in it's previous gen was also quite expensive. At that time, the competition and AT demand was minimal, so those who wanted would definitely buy it. Today that is not the case, AT's are popular and there are lot of options. So if they launch a 1.4+ 4 speed AT today in the Asta trim, it will easily go above 10L OTR in most places. That will be way to expensive to pull in any significant sales. Premium AT hatch buyers will definitely not blindly buy based on the Hyundai image.
  • The competition has DCT, DSG, CVT, CVT with paddle shifts, 5 Speed Torque Converters. Hyundai may be finding it embarrassing to come out with an AT variant for their premium product that is expensive, fuel guzzling and uses an antique gearbox. It may reflect badly on their brand image.

Having said that, they do need an AT for the i20. AT volumes are increasing. I think they just do not have a combination that can match the competition in both performance and price. I think the best bet they have is to bring in the Diesel AT (even if it is 4 speed), since there is no premium diesel AT hatch, they can get away with a higher price and a older technology gearbox.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 19th January 2016 at 16:59.
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Old 19th January 2016, 17:06   #19
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Swear to GOD, if they launched a 6 Speed Auto in a Diesel Verna as well as the Diesel I20 and also gave it paddle shifts (its just two paddles and hardwiring to the actual console which has the plus minus sign if you ask me, not a big deal at all, with enough time, even I can get a Celerio AMT with paddle shifts working) then we have such a big Baleno beater on hand. Hyundai WHY on this earth would you not do this?
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Old 19th January 2016, 21:23   #20
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

I believe there are 3 very simple reasons for this :

1) Hyundai had very little success with the i20 automatic in its first generation design, at 9.xx lacs on road people found it to be "very" expensive during 2009/10. I actually found the price very reasonable for the 1.4 litre 100 bhp engine + 2 airbags + segment leading features (automatic was available only in Asta variant). I remember this because I nearly considered going for it until I drove it and found the suspension & steering of the Getz vastly superior so changed my mind. In its facelift avatar (fluidized i20), they made a silly move - not only did they almost retain the same pricing but they positioned the automatic only in Sportz variant which had not many practical features (single airbag, no rear wiper). People this time criticized the automatic for being the old school 4 gear setup but frankly in my test drive it had a ton of punch in the low RPM's, perfect for the city might I add. Also the i20 automatic was too early to arrive in the local market, with better traffic conditions, fuel economy and VFM pricing were at the top of everyone's minds. Hyundai naturally lost interest in the auto box having tasted defeat 2 times, the arrival of VAG's TSi would've only made them think of scrapping the transmission altogether.

2) The 1.4 factor : Yes this being a price sensitive market, it was well known that engines that carry more than 1.2 litre capacity attract additional duties. With the Elite already pushing 9.xx lakhs on road with the current hike for the manual transmission one can definitely see why a close to 11 lakh rupee i20 automatic won't cut it with the competition like TSi.

3) Hyundai has already developed 1.1 litre 100/120 bhp engines, and on the other end their own 7 speed gearbox, it might be better if they combine these 2 in the current generation line-up.

Having also driven the Xcent automatic I believe this is a good strategy by Hyundai. The Xcent is a no-nonsense practical car, even more so combined with the 1.2 83 bhp automatic box. It can do everything the Elite can and then some more. I'm in the minority but I sure believe that the i20's only USP is style, the Xcent's USP is maximum value & practicality & the GT TSi is the ultimate automatic hatch (for 2 adults+kids in the back). I sure hope they decide to launch the i20 auto only once they bring in the 6 speed shiftronic and improve that steering feel. Xcent/Grand i10 steering gives much better feel & resistance than the videogame steering of i20.

Last edited by dark.knight : 19th January 2016 at 21:49.
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Old 19th January 2016, 23:57   #21
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

To me I20 is somewhere in between and even the base version is sometimes overpriced compared to Sedan options available. Unless you are specifically after I20 you almost always overlook the car for an I10 or a bigger size sedans. Adding AT is only going to push the car to even Vento market which makes it difficult for buyers to consider unless you are exactly after I20 as a car.

While shopping for options though I20 is absolutely attractive with features, the price point pushes the car out of options. If they can price it right it may have a market following. When it comes to AT, the cheaper Maruthi's and I10 sell more and then you have the sedan market taking over.

The inbetween hatchbacks are never the preferred buy in AT segment atleast per my own taste.
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Old 20th January 2016, 00:52   #22
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Can someone please decode this puzzle for me? WHY?
Hyundai's petrols = inefficient engines. That's the general belief in the market. Ask anyone who owns an i10/G i10 AT, he'll tell you that.

Hyundai seems to be believing that selling an even more inefficient 1.4 AT is simply suicidal. But a customer shopping for an AT will know that FE is the downside of owning one.

Also, selling the 1.4 has high excise duties, making the car expensive.

All said and done, Hyundai are losing market share to Baleno, Jazz and Figo due to their lack of AT. The i20 is otherwise a fabulous car.

No, don't even think of a diesel AT. If an updated Verna can't get a 6 Speed AT, the i20 won't even get the 4 speed one.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 20th January 2016 at 00:54.
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Old 20th January 2016, 01:51   #23
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Hmm, we just purchased a Figo 1.5 AT a few weeks ago. We had to wait for about a month, but we got it in the end. If one is willing to wait, one can get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post


Forget about not being able to buy i20 or Swift Automatics because there isn't one. I was NOT able to buy a Figo 1.5L Automatic and had to buy an Aspire Automatic for my parents instead.

Dealer looked amused when I insisted on Figo Automatic. I was given an indefinite delivery timeline of 6 months if I choose the Figo AT. During December, the Aspire AT came to Figo AT price after discounts, so it sealed the deal for me. However it pains to see the disproportionate rear every time.

Dealer claimed Ford didn't send them any Figo AT and Ford India claimed Dealer didn't forecast for Figo AT. Net result, the Figo AT is for website decoration.

Polo GT TSi sells at 10L. Imagine the market shake-up if Figo 1.5L Diesel is mated with an Automatic and sold for 10L.
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Old 20th January 2016, 07:57   #24
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
.....The rules of the game have changed over time for Hyundai and they are treading the path of profits. The HUGE number of Creta bookings, am sure, have asserted that Hyundai doesn't need to sell on more features, anymore.
They just didn't bother about the safety options in i20 till Baleno became a hit and came with safety options as standard. Inspite of NOT having the options, i20 was the KING of the segment. This comes from a brand who offered 6 airbags for a car south of 20L(?) for the first time in India.......
This is the story with most manufacturers - and not just in India - and Hyundai was laughing all the way to the bank as long as they could milk the cash cow for as long as possible! HM, Premier Auto & Mahindra continued with their Amby & Padmini & WWII vintage Jeeps (without even the fig-leaf of token facelifts) for decades since they had a captive market.

Now with open competition from a plethora of manufacturers, the rules have changed a bit (with decent facelifts at reasonable intervals), but the mind-set remains unchanged - wherever possible, milk the customer for whatever is possible for as long as possible. it is to our credit as customers (as well as the the media's, with a few - very few! - customer-centric forums like Team-BHP!) that we are fast catching on to the game! The no. of market recalls recently by several manufacturers is an indicator.

Mahindra with their new TUV300 & KUV100 (I know, I know - the less about the latter's exterior, the better!) have upped the ante with an air-bag option across the range & (ABS + EBD) standard across the range (in the KUV) & AMT option in the TUV. Let us see how soon the rest of the brigade follows suit! The current Indian auto industry is an interesting example of survival of the fittest!

If only we were not running out of fossil fuels & the very real pollution concerns - (SOx, NOx & COx emission norms, carbon foot-prints & the rest of the jargon) - magically disappeared....

Last edited by GTO : 20th January 2016 at 11:38. Reason: Typos
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Old 20th January 2016, 11:55   #25
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Guys,

Couple of points to consider:

- Hyundai is ALREADY building the i20 1.4L AT. It's not an 'if' product. Question is, if you're building it already, why not launch it here?

- The 1.4L AT was quite competent. It was certainly not slow. We're not talking about a 1.2L AT here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Why is Maruti stubborn on not selling the Swift automatic when they have DZire petrol and diesel automatics?
Swift Automatic is coming. Just wait for a while. Reason we don't already have the Swift AMT is the gearbox's limited availability.

Quote:
Why is TATA not selling Bolt diesel automatic when the Zest diesel AMT created such positive vibes?
1. Bolt is a flop (unlike the i20). AT or no AT, it's not going anywhere. Why waste time?

2. Giving customers one more reason to buy the Zest over the closely-priced Bolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
They checked the sales of old 1.4 i20 AT, and the costs involved in introducing it to the market. Then they took out an Excel sheet and extrapolated the data for Elite i20. I'm pretty sure pie charts & bar graphs were also involved in this exercise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by farooq817 View Post
1. The cost - The 1.4L that served on the previous gen i20 was competent. But it did not sell in huge numbers.
I don't think it'll bring volume. But if Hyundai can offer an AT on all its other cars without volumes, why single out the i20 AT? That's the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post
I think the reason is, "lets save something for the face-lift" !!
I sure hope so!

Quote:
They just didn't bother about the safety options in i20 till Baleno became a hit and came with safety options as standard
That was truly a shocker! Can you imagine Maruti teaching Hyundai a thing or two about safety equipment .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
But on the other hand I have been wondering if the 6 speed transmission from the Verna and Creta can be mated with the 1.4L Diesel. If it can then that makes a lot of sense.
A diesel + AT, now that would be something else. However, it shouldn't stop the petrol AT from being introduced either. The two are mutually exclusive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
Plus, the Elite i20 is already being manufactured at full production.
Whenever demand exceeds supply, you'll see manufacturers prioritising the expensive (more profitable) versions. We can safely assume that the margin on a 1.4L AT variant will be more than a 1.2L MT base. Hyundai can easily build & sell 100 - 200 i20 ATs a month.
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Old 20th January 2016, 12:25   #26
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Whenever demand exceeds supply, you'll see manufacturers prioritising the expensive (more profitable) versions. We can safely assume that the margin on a 1.4L AT variant will be more than a 1.2L MT base. Hyundai can easily build & sell 100 - 200 i20 ATs a month.
Just to pick-up on this, believe Hyundai has approached this by launching the cross-over variant, the 'i20 Active' where they're easily charging a 1 Lakh+ premium simply for adding some plastic cadding and jacking up the GC.

Though I completely agree that Hyundai is missing a trick here by not offering an AT version, I'm sure if they see a serious impact on i20 sales due to Baleno AT picking-up, we'll see an AT sooner rather than later.
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Old 20th January 2016, 15:47   #27
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Why is Maruti stubborn on not selling the Swift automatic when they have DZire petrol and diesel automatics?

Why is TATA not selling Bolt diesel automatic when the Zest diesel AMT created such positive vibes?

Same with Hyundai Elite i20 too. I'm one among those who were forced to buy Xcent automatic for parents and would have opted for it if the Elite i20 automatic was available.

I guess all these manufacturers are trying to push their compact sedan siblings which have better margins compared to the highly competitive hatchback segment.
That's exactly my thoughts as well. Regarding Bolt being a flop, who knows shooing in an AT\AMT might have given it an edge or at-least a distinguishing factor among it's rivals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Whenever demand exceeds supply, you'll see manufacturers prioritising the expensive (more profitable) versions. We can safely assume that the margin on a 1.4L AT variant will be more than a 1.2L MT base. Hyundai can easily build & sell 100 - 200 i20 ATs a month.
Fact here is also the lack of a competent rival to the i20. Until the Baleno, i20's supremacy was never challenged.For argument case, If we consider Swift as it's rival(For me it never was), Hyundai did the same as Maruti, no Swift AT hence no i20 AT as well.

Guess now is the time for i20 AT, all thanks to Baleno.
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Old 21st January 2016, 08:41   #28
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

That export data seems to indicate all cars were i20 Actives meant for Uruguay. They drive on the right side of the road in Uruguay, so there will still need to be some work done to adapt the cars for India.

I've been holding off on replacing my manual first-gen i20 because Hyundai has no automatic petrols in the i20/i20 Active/Creta (plus no top-end automatic in the overpriced Creta anyway).

I hope they do launch one mid year and in the top spec model.
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Old 21st January 2016, 09:28   #29
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Following is my 2 cents of thought -

1) The toughest thing for i20 AT (1.4) is positioning, think about this situation, i20 is already loaded with features, its the features that is selling the i20, then 1.4AT means a good 1.5 to 2 lakh higher (Premium for engine & AT), Which means its way beyond a full one segment. The top version ex-showroom itself crosses the psychological number of 9.99 lakhs. Mess with this, its tough to go (S-cross as example).

2) Efficiency: Already Hyundai engines are not known for fuel economy, so is the i20. Combine this with AT & an 1.4, means the word of mouth blacklisting the car for bad fuel economy will not only kill the AT but also the brand i20.

3) Variant strategy: Look at the competition, they are all competing the AT with one variant lower, the AT variant is available either in the mid variant or in the top-minus-one variant, which means to keep the price within the segment, due to the AT addition, Both baleno and jazz are positioned within the price structure. This can not be so easily done with the i20, why because i20s key differentiating strategy is bells and whistles. As soon as the touch navi was launch, Hyundai didn't even wait too long to launch the touch navi in the i20. More over, variant to variant, they are competing on features excess. Again adding the 1.4 & AT, makes a price skew.

Lastly, on the other hand,
I am thinking that 1.2 AT will clearly bring down the performance of the heavy i20 unlike the xCent, which will bring the image down clearly.

Last edited by GTO : 21st January 2016 at 11:17. Reason: Typos
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Old 21st January 2016, 12:17   #30
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Default re: Why is Hyundai stubbornly not launching the Elite i20 Automatic? EDIT: Launched at 9.01 lakhs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
For the life of me, I can't figure this one out.

Is Hyundai afraid of cannibalisation with the Xcent AT? That's just stupid as the Xcent is anyway selling a fraction of the i20. Do they want to save the 1.4L AT for their upcoming compact SUV? That's even more stupid as the compact SUV is still sometime away. Hyundai knows this better than anyone else - if you don't cannibalise your own products, someone else will gladly do it for you.
CANNIBALIZED,Just like I badly Wanted an i20 AT for my wifey, Did not like the Xcent AT, Went in for an Amaze AT and we are thankful that we made the right decision.
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