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Old 20th August 2016, 06:06   #16
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

I also feel once people get over the mileage bug and get a taste of automatic convenience through some friend's or relative's car, the graph would be even steeper. And yes - if only car makers would offer it on more models...
I did read somewhere though that AMTs also have their share of issues but that it's less expensive to fix.
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Old 20th August 2016, 12:36   #17
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Almost 50% of the car buyers I know these days are buying automatics. FE is second priority to many.

CVT's and conventional automatics charge a very high premium. So I guess the durability and reliability of AMTs will play a big role in the future of Automatics in India.

Forget the difference in driving comfort, but how durable is the AMT? The description of AMT sounds very barbaric and a bit scary. Imagine a lot of moving parts under the hood changing gears rapidly!

I badly want an automatic and zeroed in on the Duster AMT. The Kochi dealer says almost all the Non AWD dusters sold in Kochi are now AMT's and claims to have sold about 50 in Kochi since launch.
However, I am very concerned about how long the AMT will last. Will the quality of shifts come down over time? Say I want to replace the clutch after a while, would I have to replace the entire AMT unit? And how much would an AMT unit cost to replace anyway?

I wouldn't have bothered about this if AMT was a common technology widely used across the globe.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd August 2016 at 09:43. Reason: Typos
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Old 20th August 2016, 19:52   #18
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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It is not about the advice of sale reps. The company just does not want to push automatics. Even if you want to book an automatic, you get no assurances on the delivery dates. It could be 3 months away, 6 months away or more. I don't think a knowledgeable sales rep could get the company to deliver automatics faster.
I agree! It is the lack of enthusiasm of the salesman for the AT version which kills the sale! I really do not know what grouse these people have against the poor AT
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Old 22nd August 2016, 12:30   #19
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

It will be interesting to see a rigorous analysis of Fuel Efficiency in Manual versus Automatic variants of the same car. While traditional Torque convertor ATs are less fuel efficient than their manual counterparts, with CVTs the situation is reversed. I wonder if the rise of ATs can also be attributed to the FE argument not holding as much water any more. Also, if paper advertisements are anything to go by, manufacturers seem to be using the aspirational AT argument to push people to upgrade in an increasingly saturated market.

Also, it'll be interesting to see if the resale values of older AT cars (e.g. the Civic AT) will rise in comparison to their MT cousins due to this trend.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 13:28   #20
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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IWhile traditional Torque convertor ATs are less fuel efficient than their manual counterparts, with CVTs the situation is reversed.
DSG / DCT transmissions are also usually more fuel-efficient than their manual counterparts.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 14:01   #21
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Speaking of percentage of ATs still being only 7, the reason is that the bulk of cars sold in India cost under 10 lakhs where the AT options started their presence only recently. Also, this under 10 segment is very price sensitive and every 20-25 thousand matters. The variant's extra 60 to 1 lakh for even under-10L car acts as a bit dampener. But I'm sure it will only rise in coming years as more and more people discover the convenient of ATs.
Spot on!
The market share for sub 10 lakh rupees is humongous. Forget driving, most of the ordinary folks looking for a car within the 10 lakh rupees mark would not have been in a automatic car before, and suddenly introducing them to a car where there is no clutch pedal and a strange looking gear stick will make the car feel a bit strange.
And yet the biggest concern is obviously the FE!
As GTO mentioned, there aren't many diesel autos within the 10 lakh, and as you all know a petrol auto won't be that easy on the wallet!
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Old 22nd August 2016, 14:19   #22
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Have had AT in 80% of the cars I have owned till date.

In the future my gut feel sees a trend that takes AT towards 50% market share at a rapid pace in the next 3-4 years.

In future maybe only Taxi drivers and vehicles driven by drivers would have MT's and even some Taxis owned by drivers who take pride in their vehicles may go in for AT's
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Old 22nd August 2016, 15:10   #23
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Although I'm NOT a regular "Vijay" or "Prem" , to me, manuals are as relevant as hand-cranked starters used in classic cars. I still enjoy driving as much as before, if not more, after shifting allegiance to automatics. Because to me, the "fun" part of driving is how the steering feels in hand while driving. Unlike revving/acceleration/handling prowess of a car which is explored occasionally, how the steering feels in hand or how quick it is - is something that is experienced 100% of the time. Anyway, almost all automatics have manual mode.

The "once you experience an AT" is the key factor here.
I could not disagree more. I have driven lots of ATs (dual clutches, torque converters, CVTs) for many many years. While they are great for commuting (and lately also setting lap times), they do not come close to a slick manual gearbox and a precise clutch in providing the joy of driving. Take your car to a track day (or even a twisty mountain road), the joy from quickly dropping a gear or 2 while heel and toe-ing and blipping the throttle to match the road and engine speeds will never be replicated with any auto gearbox.
Yes they will (or have) become more efficient than manual gearboxes (both in terms of performance as well as mileage), but the enthusiast in me will always thank companies that still make manual sports cars.

On a more mundane note, the act of driving itself will become obsolete within our lifetimes (certainly so in developed nations).
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Old 22nd August 2016, 15:23   #24
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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I could not disagree more. I have driven lots of ATs (dual clutches, torque converters, CVTs) for many many years. While they are great for commuting (and lately also setting lap times), they do not come close to a slick manual gearbox and a precise clutch in providing the joy of driving. Take your car to a track day (or even a twisty mountain road), the joy from quickly dropping a gear or 2 while heel and toe-ing and blipping the throttle to match the road and engine speeds will never be replicated with any auto gearbox.
Yes they will (or have) become more efficient than manual gearboxes (both in terms of performance as well as mileage), but the enthusiast in me will always thank companies that still make manual sports cars.

On a more mundane note, the act of driving itself will become obsolete within our lifetimes (certainly so in developed nations).
+100 nothing beats the feel of the good old manual. Having driven/forced to drive umpteen automatics i love my manuals even more.
I love to see more manuals in the high end of the market. Read in Auto Car that Audi is considering a manual on the A4.
Fingers crossed.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 15:30   #25
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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While they are great for commuting (and lately also setting lap times), they do not come close to a slick manual gearbox and a precise clutch in providing the joy of driving. Take your car to a track day (or even a twisty mountain road), the joy from quickly dropping a gear or 2 while heel and toe-ing and blipping the throttle to match the road and engine speeds will never be replicated with any auto gearbox.
I was having just this argument with a Team BHPian Linea owner yesterday. The same engine and gearbox is available in a Manza too, but that doesn't offer the same driving pleasure as a Linea. Because its the "whole package" that is offering you the fun factor. It's primarily things like steering, body control etc - which you will still have in an AT car.

Just like how having a manual transmission does not make ANY car pleasurable to drive, putting in an automatic does not make ALL such cars dull to drive.

But hey, if you like to have fun on the road the "traditional way", that's great! But I personally derive driving pleasure from the way a "car feels" in my hands.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 15:39   #26
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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I was having just this argument with a Team BHPian Linea owner yesterday. The same engine and gearbox is available in a Manza too, but that doesn't offer the same driving pleasure as a Linea. Because its the "whole package" that is offering you the fun factor. It's primarily things like steering, body control etc - which you will still have in an AT car.

Just like how having a manual transmission does not make ANY car pleasurable to drive, putting in an automatic does not make ALL such cars dull to drive.

But hey, if you like to have fun on the road the "traditional way", that's great! But I personally derive driving pleasure from the way a "car feels" in my hands.
Oh I completely agree that throwing any old manual into a any old car won't make it fun to drive. But all other things being equal?
In the last episode of Top Gear, Matt LeBlanc drives the Porsche 911 R, essentially the same car as the 911 GT3 RS, but with a manual rather than the PDK. And in every measurable way (0-60, lap times etc.) an inferior car. And he ends up saying that's the car he would rather have.
That completely echoes how I feel about manuals.

I like my "traditional way" of having fun. But like I said, even moving the steering will soon be the "traditional way" of interacting with your car.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 16:21   #27
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Not to mention, the purchasing power of middle class seems to have increased a fair bit. Owning a second car is no longer a luxury. To take my own example, I am thinking of getting an automatic Wagon R or a Hyundai Grand i10 auto (or any other practical hatchback) in the next two years. Few years back, I considered thinking of automatics as a sin.

Fuel consumption is becoming secondary compared to driving ease. I would rather go for an AMT having the option of using manual gearshifts in some cases.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 16:23   #28
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

All things being equal (as in choosing between MT & AT of same model), I guess it all depends on how much weightage you assign to "transmission" when it comes to driving pleasure/fun. For me, its a lowly 5 or 10%. I would be lying if I said I don't miss revving the Civic MT's engine. But the frequency of doing that was quite low in the past 6 years.

This has nothing to do with fun factor per se - but lazy gear shifters or drivers who tend to get tired on long journeys - like me - are likely to get to the destination fresh and/or faster in an automatic on highways. Basically, ATs are not just for "cities" (as car reviewers frequently like to put it). These days, traffic on most highways is so dense, it looks like city traffic in "FAST FORWARD" mode.

The only fly in the ointment for ATs is the extra cost. But this will come down in the future when gearboxes are manufactured locally.

Last edited by smartcat : 22nd August 2016 at 16:35.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 16:44   #29
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

It's great that all four variants of Automatic transmissions: Torque converter, AMT, DCT and CVT are available in top selling models in India. Somehow, that's not the case in the US - torque converter or CVT are the only options available on popular cars.

Maruti Alto K10 AMT I own is doing just fine over the last two years - great fuel efficiency and minimal loss of power over the manual variant. Unlike the torque converter and CVT, AMT is quite fun to drive. Upshifts can be 'nudged' by letting off the accelerator a bit at the right speeds.

Apart from traffic woes, I think the other reason AT cars are gaining sales is the ease of driving: a stick shift can be a challenge for some.

Talking of traffic, I strongly feel that city public transport buses should be automatics - I am sure most would agree!
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Old 22nd August 2016, 17:08   #30
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Take your car to a track day (or even a twisty mountain road), the joy from quickly dropping a gear or 2 while heel and toe-ing and blipping the throttle to match the road and engine speeds will never be replicated with any auto gearbox.
Evocative image I must say! However, I am unfortunately stuck 5 days a week in a daily 75 km mango class commute in refreshing BLR traffic. Only heeling and toeing I do is to keep suicidal bikers, homicidal autos and loutish Sumos away from their determined bid to scratch my car.

Each to his own of course. Personally speaking, I moved from a 'diesel rocket' Cruze with a super-heavy clutch and hideous turbo-lag to a sprightly DSG petrol Octavia with zero lag and I am loving it
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