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Old 10th March 2016, 15:55   #16
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

It's not hard to imagine automatic cars making great progress in 5-10 years. I say this because I am seeing more cases of people switching to automatics. An example - my uncle bought an Alto K10 automatic so that his wife and daughter could use it. But after using the car himself, he hardly uses his Honda City anymore, except for highway runs.
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Old 10th March 2016, 15:57   #17
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Since I own two AT vehicles from the past 5 & 6 years, I was interested in finding out what kinds of options were available among ATs these days.

So, I conducted a small survey among vehicles in my apartment complex last week to determine the number of AT vehicles among my apartment dwelling brethren. My complex consists of of some middle class, mostly upper middle class and a few rich folks.

From among brands/models that are available with an AT option, I observed the following distribution between ATs and MTs.

Ford Ecosport - 4 nos. 4 AT, 0 MT.
Hyundai Grand i10 - 3 nos. 2 AT, 1 MT.
New Hyundai Verna - 2 nos. 1 AT, 1 MT.
3rd Gen Honda City - 3 nos. 3 AT, 0 MT.
Mahindra Scorpio - 2 nos. 1 AT, 1 MT.
Volkswagen Polo - 3 nos. 1 AT, 2 MT.
Volkswagen Vento - 2 nos. 1 AT, 1 MT.

Among the cars driven by ladies, I observed the following:

Maruti A-Star - 3 nos. 3 AT, 0 MT.

The Ecosport numbers surprised me. I have observed at least 3 of them to be recent purchases. The trend I notice is that most of the new purchases in my complex are ATs.

I suppose that as incomes increase and exposure to automatics via friends/collegues also increases, ATs are gaining favour among the middle to upper middle class.

Last edited by sydras : 10th March 2016 at 16:12.
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Old 10th March 2016, 17:03   #18
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I may be a minority here but for people like me that's a sad reality of the future. I dread the day when I will struggle to pick up a good manual car (much like how it was for automatics even 2 years back). I can't just imagine driving 1000s of kilometers just holding the steering. For me it is like being on a gaming console!
Completely agree with you here. I too consider myself few of the minorities here who still prefer their cars manual over automatic. With the increasing number of Automatics cannibalizing the Indian car market the day when one will have no option but to buy his/her car of choice with an auto tranny only cause a manual transmission is not available is nothing short of an apocalypse for me!
No matter how close do the automatics come when it comes to fuel efficiency and reliability the sheer way in which the stick shift keeps it's driver engaged all throughout the journey is something an automatic can never do. Yes it is at times a pain to the knees in stop start traffic but the sheer pleasure of working through the gears on twisty ghats and revving the engine using each gear to its optimal best on an open road completely overshadows everything!
After all the love for our cars and the sheer love of driving is what separates us Petrol Heads from the common folks!
Sorry if i got a bit carried away defending the manuals
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Old 10th March 2016, 17:09   #19
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Interesting thread. There is a definite increase in the trend towards AT as compared to a couple of years earlier. This can be confirmed by the fact that manufacturers are also increasingly offering mode models with AT boxes.

The demand for AT and the readiness of the manufacturers to offer AT are interdependent. If there is a increase in demand, the manufacturer is compelled to offer more options. Also if the manufacturer offers more options and advertises it sufficiently then the demand will ramp-up. One other important factor for adoption is the mindset many have for automatics regarding fuel efficiency and drive-ability. Manufacturers themselves created this problem by having dated auto boxes few years back that did not help either. Now it is up to them to undo the bad image they generated. The technology is already there and the auto boxes now are much much more advanced than before and is continually evolving. Maruti is now trying to highlight the FE with auto gearbox for Celerio and now for Wagon-R. Only a matter of time before others follow suit.

PS: Having owned a Fiesta 1.6 for the past 8 years, I have no second thoughts and went ahead to book an AT for my second car.
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Old 10th March 2016, 17:36   #20
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

As cities and towns get more and more crowded, the shift to AT will continue to grow. Ultimately, it is inevitable. I think we are in the midst of that slow growth now.

I have driven quite a few different MT cars other than my Zen and one drive of the Celerio AMT (although not a true automatic) had me converted. ATs are actually so much more convenient, even at the cost of driving pleasure.
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Old 10th March 2016, 17:55   #21
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by praveen_v View Post
Interesting thread. There is a definite increase in the trend towards AT as compared to a couple of years earlier.
============
PS: Having owned a Fiesta 1.6 for the past 8 years, I have no second thoughts and went ahead to book an AT for my second car.
Automatics are still not as efficient as manuals (unless you are talking about a DCT in which case the whole argument changes).

Maruti are highlighting the lack of FE penalty on AUTOMATED MANUAL gearboxes. Technically they are correct but to equate the efficiency of an automated manual to that of a convention torque converter auto is madness.

I'd expect members of this forum not to fall for this marketing hype.
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Old 10th March 2016, 18:10   #22
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline_GT View Post
Completely agree with you here. I too consider myself few of the minorities here who still prefer their cars manual over automatic. With the increasing number of Automatics cannibalizing the Indian car market the day when one will have no option but to buy his/her car of choice with an auto tranny only cause a manual transmission is not available is nothing short of an apocalypse for me!
This is already happening in the 20 lac+ segment. There is not a single manual car available barring one or two large SUVs. All the premium badges - Merc, BMW, Audi, Volvo and beyond only sell ATs. You'll not find a single MT in their product range.
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Old 10th March 2016, 19:06   #23
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

I have been on the lookout for an AT used car and have been checking portals like carwale for quite some time.

Its good that they have introduced AT as an option on their site, however, the numbers present here donot show the actual market.

1. Quite a few listings are incorrect, like below, where its mentioned that its an automatic, but actually its a manual car. Ex - http://www.carwale.com/used/cars-in-...rk=28&isP=true

2. Majority of the cars costlier than a certain price (ex 30L) range which stay online for a long period are ATs only. Cars such as Porsche, BMW, Mercedes are generally sold AT boxes. They skew the numbers here.
3. ATs (used) are hard to sell and stay online for a longer duration, thus giving the impression of higher AT listings. Manual transmission cars get sold quickly and hence are removed quickly. However, this is a good benchmark of the city car patterns for one particular day.
4. Markets such as Chennai donot have so many options with AT.
5. Some (high end) cars which are AT and not sold easily have multiple listings (by same seller Or more than one seller)
6. Many manual cars donot even get to the portal, they get sold that quickly, AT cars need a push for sale.

However, that doesn't discount that ATs are gaining acceptance in the market. 75% of the Fortuner I see on Delhi roads are AT. Even Maruti has launched Dzire diesel with AMT. Innova is finally coming with AT.

Last edited by tanwaramit : 10th March 2016 at 19:08.
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Old 10th March 2016, 19:14   #24
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

I think the rise of the 'Automatics' will only be faster going forward. A large number of people who experience the convenience of ATs not only stick to ATs for their next purchase but also spread the word. I myself belong to this category . My last 3 car purchases have been AT cars!

A good AT box can be nearly as much fun as an equivalent MT. As an enthusiast,the number of times that I miss the AT while driving the MT car far outnumbers the times that I miss the MT while driving the AT.
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Old 10th March 2016, 19:16   #25
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Default Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I may be a minority here but for people like me that's a sad reality of the future. I dread the day when I will struggle to pick up a good manual car (much like how it was for automatics even 2 years back). I can't just imagine driving 1000s of kilometers just holding the steering. For me it is like being on a gaming console!

I feel for you. This situation is the same in many western countries such as US. There is always an enthusiast community that loves manual gear boxes, but they will be in a minority. Once the percentage of automatic cars crosses a threshold, it reinforces itself and even manual lovers may want to consider automatic due to perceived loss of financial value. It's very hard to sell a manual car in the US unless you decide to take a big financial hit. Once that happens the manufacturers also reduce the manual choices available and stick to performance variants only. India seems to be headed in that direction but it has some way to go. I understand that the situation in UK is different, but Indian public are also different than Europeans. From my understanding they will follow the American way.

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2016 at 12:34. Reason: Typos
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Old 10th March 2016, 19:26   #26
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Even though AT cars give slightly lower fuel efficiency, it will also depend on how the manual cars are operated. If they don't use the clutches properly, not only will fuel efficiency suffer, but clutch also wears out faster. So there might be at most 1-2 kmpl difference b/w AT and MT after accounting for MT driving styles.

One does remember the time when Kinetic Honda was the only gearless scooter. Bajaj ruled the roost with geared scooters, with Vijay/Lambretta and others. Now, there are hardly any MT scooters. Almost all scooters are auto gear now.
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Old 10th March 2016, 19:51   #27
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Of three cars I own, two are MT and one is AT. One car being 13 years old AT was not an option then, and as I was a heavy traveller petrol was also not an option while buying the second car.

Till a few years ago, the cartel of car manufacturers were not offering AT with diesel in a category that a middle class person would afford, this forced many like me to buy manuals. In 2 Lit + Petrols and 1.5 Lit+ diesels the difference in fuel efficiency between AT & MT is negligible, in fact the Rs 50,000 or so cost of replacing a dual mass flywheel and clutch in current day manuals at about 75000 km pays back what one spends more in fuel. So the efficiency issue doesn't occur at all.

DSGs offered by VW return about the same or even better than their manual counterparts. Even the modern local torque converters in Creta, Elantra and XUV500 etc have an efficiency difference within 10% of the manual equivalents.

I remember in 2005 I had a problem selling my Esteem without a power steering, I guess that by 2020 we will have same difficulty selling cars with manual gearboxes.

Rahul

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2016 at 12:36. Reason: Language
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Old 10th March 2016, 19:58   #28
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Exactly my point. I'm not entirely convinced that manual gears will offer the most fuel efficiency all the time. In many cars the auto boxes / CVTs have been proven to be more fuel efficient (as mentioned in a few posts prior). For those wishing to shift manually these cars may offer paddle shifters as an option. To be honest, even paddle shifters are a waste of resources as you hardly ever use them (except to show off to friends/ family). In my opinion that part of your brain needed to change gears / control revs could be devoted to concentrating more on the road and avoiding dangers. It may actually improve road safety if people have one less thing to worry about in their minds , just saying. People in India drive like madmen in a do or die hurry anyway.
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Old 10th March 2016, 20:38   #29
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Interesting topic and my views below

1. AT share is for sure will increase with the traffic situation in the big cities. And will be followed by the smaller and urban areas.

2. As the AT share increases, manufactures concentrate on promoting and increasing the AT sales.

3. As the sales of AT increases, the fear of reselling AT reduces. Also when AT reaches the Urban India, it catches like a fire.

4. Also the pros of AT is more than MT like Traffic, Lady driving, learning etc with AT efficiency increase.

It is a cycle
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Old 10th March 2016, 20:46   #30
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

well even though like many have pointed out this might not be the best way of sampling but it is undeniable that the popularity of AT's are increasing especially in the metro's.

My in-laws who live in a small town but do a lot of highway runs have had only 1 MT in their garage in the last 5 years or so. It is due to a number of factors that people choose AT's.

If someone were to ask me today what I personally would prefer my answer would still be MT which was what it would have been a few years ago if the same question had been asked. Having said that for a daily use car I have warmed up to AT's and would like to keep an MT just for say that weekend drive

I think it is a positive trend
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