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Old 9th March 2016, 23:56   #1
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Default Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Here is something surprising I found when browsing used cars through Carwale.com. This website allows you to select AT or MT as one of the filters.

When you select NEW DELHI, this is the number of automatic and manual listings -

Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?-newdelhi.jpg

For MUMBAI -

Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?-mumbai.jpg

For BANGALORE -

Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?-bangalore.jpg

The percentages are similar for Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai etc.

Does this mean anything - listings based on one online site? Since these are the numbers in the used car market, can we assume that NEW car sales in big capital cities have similar percentage between AT and MT cars?

Or could it be that - small less expensive entry level cars (mostly manual) are NOT listed online as much as expensive cars (mix of manual & AT, and mostly AT in +15 Lacs segment)? That is, perhaps less expensive cars are are quickly exchanged at car dealer, and hence online sites have a higher number of AT cars?

Other numbers:

ALL INDIA split between AT and MT cars -

Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?-allindia.jpg

Manufacturer (number of listings) comparison (All India):

Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?-manufacturer1.jpg

Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?-manufacturer2.jpg

Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?-manuurer3.jpg

Some observations:

Among mainstream manufacturers, Honda sells (or has sold) a large number of automatics (when compared to their MT cars, because Honda's market share is very low). Hyundai does well when compared to Maruti. Mahindra's numbers are misleading because 99% of the listings are that of REVA. Tata is nowhere in sight. Missed opportunity for Tata and Mahindra definitely.
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Old 10th March 2016, 06:51   #2
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This is nothing surprising given the traffic situation in India and the driving habits of the average Indian. I predict that in the future the percentage of automatics will overtake the manuals and become a majority in due course. Once you drive an automatic, at least 50% people will be converts.
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Old 10th March 2016, 07:08   #3
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Default re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

I think you need to filter out the premium manufacturers like Audi, Mercedes BMW. Most models from these manufacturers are AT only and have been for sometime now. So those will skew the numbers. Removing them or restricting budget to say 7L should show a more accurate number.

The AT adoption has really picked up in the big cities in the last 2-3 years. While the carwale numbers may not be the most accurate way to show the increased adoption, there is no denying the fact that ATs make up a good percent of sales today. As an example, almost every Celerio I see today is an AMT.

I was talking to an SA from Mahindra and he said that 50-60℅ of XUV500 they sell are AT variants.

The other point that is driving AT sales is the fact that for several models, AT is the recommended variant to buy. Some Examples are the Celerio, petrol Vento, xuv500

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 10th March 2016 at 07:32.
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Old 10th March 2016, 09:49   #4
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Default re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

ATs are the way forward. I predict that in 10 years, ATs will outsell MTs across India. And most of the new generation will probably never learn to drive a manual.

Even now, in a small town like Udupi, a lot of the new cars are ATs. And the traffic situation here, while frustrating, is nowhere as bad as the metros.
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Old 10th March 2016, 11:53   #5
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Default re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samaspire View Post
ATs are the way forward. I predict that in 10 years, ATs will outsell MTs across India. And most of the new generation will probably never learn to drive a manual.

Even now, in a small town like Udupi, a lot of the new cars are ATs. And the traffic situation here, while frustrating, is nowhere as bad as the metros.
Similar situation in Mangalore as well. Of late I have spotted good number of AMTs especially the Celerio. Couple of my relatives too bought Celerio AMT by learning driving in their 50s.

After driving Ford Figo with HPS (Hydraulic Power Steering) with Manual gear shift for 4 years, I am 100% inclined towards an AMT/DSG equipped car with EPS (Electronic Power Steering). Traffic congestion in India clearly indicates that market has to move towards Auto transmission (and possibly autonomous cars in the future).
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Old 10th March 2016, 12:08   #6
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Very innovative way to get a sample, smartcat . OLX, followed by Carwale, are the biggest players in the used car space in India, so there's no denying its relevance.

Equally, I would say that online listings would be by folk with a certain level of education, internet-friendliness, credit cards etc. Among these chaps, perhaps, the % of automatics can be as high as 30%. In the overall market though, it would be much lesser. In 2014, several sources (including the IHS) state the overall market-share of ATs at 1 - 2%. Within the metros, it'll obviously be higher, but still lesser than 10% overall I'd guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pamiboy View Post
Once you drive an automatic, at least 50% people will be converts.
Very true. I know several friends / family members who haven't returned to MTs after experiencing slush-boxes. Fact is, as you move up the automotive food chain, MTs are becoming scarce.
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Old 10th March 2016, 12:18   #7
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

The numbers for Automatics are lower also due to lack of choice in lower segments. Automatic variants are either limited, or just offered in a variant of manufacturers choice where they get to make most money without offering all the equipment and still pricing it at par with the most expensive loaded MT variant.

Then for most options, the transmission is either too dated/incompetent(typical Hyundai or Maruti 4 AT's) or just too expensive/scary(either to buy or to maintain, like Polo DSG).

Other factor is, most manufacturers do not have an automatic transmission good enough to handle the Diesel torque. The cheapest work around manufacturers usually have is to slam the AMT motor on the top of the existing manual(Duster, TUV, Zest..).

Once the supply part is sorted and buyers have a good choice, I predict Automatics will sell in much much higher numbers.
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Old 10th March 2016, 12:20   #8
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Interesting topic and very interesting observations from the used-car market!

Here's my take (pure opinion, not backed by any data):
1. Automatic Transmission cars are definitely the trend and I see more and more people in cities warming up to that idea. The FE gap between MT and AT has reduced due to better technology and conscious effort by manufacturers to make ATs a viable proposition.

2. I doubt many first-time car-buyers consider the AT option. Experienced car-owners who know the pain of driving in bumper to bumper traffic are most likely the ones who are ready to pick a AT as the next car either in the new-car or used-car market.

3. ATs are significantly more easily available in higher car segments than the entry and mid-level segments (B, C). The price premium that one needs to pay for a AT would still be a important factor in the buying decision of Indians as we are a very price-sensitive market.

4. I still don't believe ATs are being sold to the tune of 20-30% in urban areas of India. My guess is that the number would be lower than (or max) 10%.

5. The apparently disproportionate percentage of ATs in the used market is surprising. May be used-ATs are still a niche market and not many buyers out there.

Last edited by SDP : 10th March 2016 at 12:25.
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Old 10th March 2016, 12:20   #9
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Very true. I know several friends / family members who haven't returned to MTs after experiencing slush-boxes. Fact is, as you move up the automotive food chain, MTs are becoming scarce.
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!
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Old 10th March 2016, 12:23   #10
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Great insight! But, I would be vary of this data. Often there are multiple listings for the same car. Sellers often do that to 'bump up' or 'refresh' the ad. Also the number of luxury marquees in that list could be inflating the figure further as most of them have AT only cars.

Keeping all that aside, it does give out a general trend so to say. And it is not surprising one bit. The increased focus on AT these days is also due to the lower entry point I believe (read AMTs).
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Old 10th March 2016, 12:54   #11
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Dear Smartcat,

I am impressed by your creativity.
I have rated this full 5 stars!

Just my two bits:
I agree that it looks like automatics are picking up - in a big way or small way is anybody's guess!
As some one mentioned above, there were very few options in the entry level or just above that. Now Nano, Alto, WagonR, Celerio, Zest, Xcent, etc are popping up. Hopefully, the VFM will become more interesting with time.
I agree with somebody saying that automatics are boring but I can say for sure that at the end of spending 1 hour to cover a 10 minute journey you realize the power of automatics.
Just on a side note: on the highway - if you are going to travel 1000 km, then there is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE between driving automatic and driving manual in top gear only!

Girish Mahajan
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Old 10th March 2016, 13:00   #12
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDP View Post
1. Automatic Transmission cars are definitely the trend and I see more and more people in cities warming up to that idea. The FE gap between MT and AT has reduced due to better technology and conscious effort by manufacturers to make ATs a viable proposition.
+ 1 to that. The FE claimed by Jazz MT vs CVT is almost same. Same case with Baleno. In fact, for the new Amaze the CVT variant has better mileage numbers!

I'm in the market for new car and an automatic definitely makes sense to city (Bangalore) traffic. Also, it is easy for first time drivers like my wife to use the car. My favorite automatic in the market is Figo DCT since I'm already a very happy 1st gen Figo TDCI owner.

In a way it makes more sense to have ATs in India than in other developed countries where the traffic/road conditions are better. We should see more % of ATs bought by Indian customers in near future.

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2016 at 12:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 10th March 2016, 13:55   #13
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Nice observations, smartcat! Somewhere else in the forum, I have mentioned that I love to drive manual transmission equipped cars, but with time, even I am tempted to move on to an Automatic transmission equipped vehicle. Personally, I still prefer manual transmission; but day by day, the traffic situation is becoming so worse, that I wouldn't mind getting an auto transmission in my next car.

Definitely as pamiboy said, at-least 50% will be converts to auto transmission once they drive. And the number will only increase in the coming few years.
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Old 10th March 2016, 14:24   #14
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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!
Honestly - after driving the Skoda Laura DSG for nearly 55,000kms; I don't miss the manual option at all.
It's practical, it's fast, it's smooth - and the best bit is that it has a tiptronic feature - not that I need a reason to use it except engine braking every once in a while when at higher speeds.
Yes - paddle shifters would add to the fun, especially when on a good road with sweeping corners.

Most of the ATs have the tiptronic function, and with quicker shifting options such as the DSG gearbox already making a presence in the sub-10L price range.

The way I see it - driving in city traffic where gear changes are required often - there are enough obstacles to look out for, that you don't miss a MT.
And on the highways, you're mostly cruising in top gear anyways - with the very rare downshift, so an AT doesn't add much value.

Note: I don't disagree about the fact that an AT gearbox isn't as much fun - but for 95% of the driving conditions we face, it is a lot more practical.

Note 2: On the Polo GTi thread, I was one of the people who was very against the GTi coming with only a DSG. Reason: aftermarket tuning options become severely limited, and lower performance specs.

Note 3: I am also one of the people who wouldn't mind switching over to a MT if the car is worth it, even though AT is first preference.

PS: I also believe that MT will continue in the lower segments at least, for the next few years (sub INR 20L).
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Old 10th March 2016, 15:05   #15
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Default Re: Automatics gaining market-share in big cities?

Nice thread, smartcat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
As an example, almost every Celerio I see today is an AMT.
True that - almost 80% of the Celerios I see on the road are AMTs and along with Nano & Alto K10 AMTs, they are the commonly seen entry level automatics. We have to agree that they do make urban driving easy with the increasing traffic everyday. Also most of the ladies prefer automatics and most of the second car in the urban households are automatics.

Add to that, nowadays all the manufacturers are bringing in automatics in all of their car models and may be 10 years down the line, ATs might have overtaken the MTs.

Last edited by GTO : 12th March 2016 at 12:28. Reason: Typos
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