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Old 22nd August 2016, 17:31   #31
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

I used to be a big manual shift fanboy. But since the day I got an automatic, I kind of don't even know why I wasted so many years driving a manual through our crazy Delhi city traffic.

If we had empty, smooth highways like abroad, a manual will be extremely pleasurable. However, constant clutch pressing and gear shifting turns into an annoying act after a few hours in our crazy traffic.

In the past, I would usually return extremely tired after going somewhere. However now with an automatic, my energy levels remain the same. In short, the emotional benefits of driving an auto in a country like India are tremendous.

P.S Heck, I don't know if this sounds funny or not but it might very well calm those angry drivers who lose their nerve in stop & go traffic.

P.P.S On a second thought. An auto might also invite a lot more aggressive driving. Case in point - I've seen multiple DTC bus drivers driving their massive buses like it's a performance car cutting through traffic and braking hard. A power steering and an automatic transmission has definitely caused them to drive a lot more aggressively than ever before.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 18:02   #32
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

The whole manuals versus auto debate reminds me of the power steering debates, "not having true feel" and all that. Now that unassisted steering is basically extinct, the next level of debate is the feel of the hydraulic, which was apparently in hibernation until the electric ones came along. Hydraulic steering without variable assist is a pain in the city and when parking, likewise crowded city commutes mean manuals are a pain. I don't quite get the whole driving in the curves with a manual thing, how many roads in India allow for such an activity, the paddle shifter is a great replacement for the gear knob, at you fingertips at all times, the M5 reviews have great things to say about the DCT, if you are keen on reliability, the regular torque converter does a good job, even allowing for double or more? down shifting(taken from the 5 series review on this site).

The control over the gearbox is quite good in most modern gearboxes, with supercars going auto, manual gearboxes are nearly redundant. Most reviews of German cars mention that the manuals are pretty awful in terms of ergonomics for right hand drive cars. Luxury brands won't be coming out with manuals as demand is practically nil.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 18:03   #33
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Friends,

To add count towards the automatic crowd, I have recently sold my Fortuner 4wd-MT and Thar Crde - MT to buy a new Fortuner 4wd-AT and a Wagon-R-AMT.
I knew that Wagon-R-AMT cannot replace a 4x4 THAR CRDe , but I do have another 4x4 Offroader at home.
Earlier i had 4 Manual Transmission cars at home, now 2 Automatic cars and 1 off roader with manual Transmission.

Last edited by Rajith : 22nd August 2016 at 18:10.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 18:10   #34
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
The whole manuals versus auto debate reminds me of the power steering debates, "not having true feel" and all that. Now that unassisted steering is basically extinct, the next level of debate is the feel of the hydraulic, which was apparently in hibernation until the electric ones came along. .
Another analogy is the Petrol Vs Diesel engine debate.

Not too long ago, if you bought a diesel (even modern Crdi), the often used rationale was you buy it for the "economy". Like how if you buy an automatic now, its for the "convenience".

It takes time for the general opinion among enthusiasts to change.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 23:02   #35
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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It takes time for the general opinion among enthusiasts to change.
100% agree to the statement above.

I guess the analogy to safety features is nearly matching with Automatics. Couple of years back, all the safety features (ABS/Airbags etc) were available only on Top-end with 80% of indian auto-buyers choosing the entry/mid level variants. Now the safety pack (atleast optional) is fairly available even in entry variants from most manufacturers.

I guess similarly- slowly but surely the automatic is dripping into mid-level variants as well which is a welcome change.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 01:10   #36
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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).
Please do not mind my saying this but the narration in bold font above sounds like an ad agency copyright for a car commercial. How many of us drive cars on track? I was also a diehard MT fan once and considered ATs sissy. But not any more. Now, first thing I look for in a car is not whether diesel or petrol. It's MT or AT. If no AT then I do not read one more line about that car. I agree that to each his own but to say that automatics are boring is not right. All the super cars and sports cars have shifted en masse to ATs. It's not without reason.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 12:22   #37
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

JATCO was supposed to set up shop in India, but they haven't done that so far. Considering a one lakh premium for 4 speed torque converter ATs that Maruti uses, if the AT box was made in India, it would have probably cost half the price considering the import duties. I am not sure how much exactly is the import duty. This means that they would have been competitively priced vis-a-vis AMTs.

The modern JATCO was formed after Nissan spun off its AT/CVT (automatic transmission/continuously variable transmission) development divisions and its Fuji manufacturing plant into a company called TransTechnology, Ltd in June 1999. TransTechnology Ltd. and JATCO Corp., both affiliates of Nissan, agreed to merge in October 1999 to become JATCO TransTechnology Ltd. JATCO was established in 1970 to manufacture automatic transmissions.

In October 2001, as part of its restructuring, Mitsubishi Motors agreed to merge its transmission division with Nissan's transmission subsidiary Jatco TransTechnology Ltd. The combined company settled on JATCO Ltd. in April, 2002. Nissan and Mitsubishi equity holdings in JATCO after the share exchange stand at 82% and 18% respectively.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jatco

Topping the list of future markets under consideration are Russia, Eastern Europe and India, although Hata notes Indian drivers, like those in Western Europe, still tend to favor manual gearboxes.

“We don’t have a clear idea yet about what to do in India, even though two of our best customers, Nissan and Suzuki, are building cars there,” he says.

http://wardsauto.com/technology/jatc...own-strong-yen

Japanese transmission maker JATCO is looking to build a new factory in Brazil or India as part of its strategy to accelerate a shift in production overseas, reports Dow Jones Global Equities News. "We need another plant outside of Japan, in either India or Brazil. Our existence, presence in these two areas is almost negligible, so we have to add [one] to our list," JATCO president Takashi Hata said. For now, JATCO is focused on expanding production at its existing plants in China and Mexico, as well as starting a new factory in Thailand next year.

http://www.ihssupplierinsight.com/ne...seas-expansion

Last edited by pradkumar : 23rd August 2016 at 12:26.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 14:32   #38
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Please do not mind my saying this but the narration in bold font above sounds like an ad agency copyright for a car commercial. How many of us drive cars on track? I was also a diehard MT fan once and considered ATs sissy. But not any more. Now, first thing I look for in a car is not whether diesel or petrol. It's MT or AT. If no AT then I do not read one more line about that car. I agree that to each his own but to say that automatics are boring is not right. All the super cars and sports cars have shifted en masse to ATs. It's not without reason.
I have tracked some of my cars and all of my motorbikes.
I am no Luddite. For 95% of the use case of a car automatics are better. Automatics are certainly going to become more and more popular in India. In fact, autonomous, zero-emission cars are the way forward as far as transportation goes.

I was disagreeing with the statement that once you have tried an automatic you would not want to drive a manual. For me a good manual will always trump any automatic car in driving joy.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 22:14   #39
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

These days I am driving a zen 2003 and an Alto K10 AMT. Sure nothing beats the convenience of an automatic in Indian city traffic. In the hills I always feel the automatic to be highly confused. The feeling of controlling a manual transmission car in the hills is unparalleled.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 22:49   #40
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

I was one of the crowd who was hesitant about going with the automatic transmission. My major doubt revolved around the fact that it may have higher repair costs. But since I got my Cruze last year, I just cannot go back to MT again.

There was a span of a week where I had rented a Figo from Zoom and all the passengers were tired of me complaining about the lack of automatics in India.
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Old 24th August 2016, 00:16   #41
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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I was disagreeing with the statement that once you have tried an automatic you would not want to drive a manual. For me a good manual will always trump any automatic car in driving joy.
Sorry but, here too I will disagree with you. I will say most of those who once get the hang of AT will never go back to MT again. Now someone here can step forward and say I spent X years in North America and I drove Y number of ATs there but I came back to India for good and settled for an MT. I wouldn't want to enter into an argument here with such guys but by and large people let go of MTs once they taste convenience of AT. Everyone whom I know and I spoke to attested to this. Me included. Heck, I dread the thought of driving my F-in-Law's Alto MT even once in a while.

I feel that many make such statements about ATs without actually driving them. No. A short trip around the block or town in AT won't convert you. The longer regular usage for a few months will.
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Old 24th August 2016, 00:43   #42
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

It basically comes down to personal preferences and unique driving circumstances. If given the chance to drive a manual once every few days, most automatic car drivers will say sure why not, and if given the chance to drive automatic when absolutely necessary, manual drivers will agree with a big grin.

Automatics take the load out of driving, its like having half a chauffeur working for you free of cost all the time. Today mileage no longer is a differentiating issue between stick shifts and auto shifts, a manual can be efficient by hypermiling and likewise a well-tuned gear box with accurate shift-ratios and pull can match any manual car.

I need to have only one car, would I miss a manual if I didn't have one.. absolutely but would I also like an automatic for the manic traffic days, indeed. I'd personally prefer the manual, though. I feel it isn't going to last too long and it'll be considered as ancient as turning the handle in front of the car to start the engine, when its time comes. However it's one of the last purist/mechanical/interactive elements left, before being replaced by the great electronic/electric wave.

Some Americans make videos of people trying their hand on a stick-shift for the first time and they simply cannot drive like that. Amusing to a few, but kind of disappointing for me. I hope I never forget to drive a manual ever.
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Old 24th August 2016, 02:17   #43
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Other than personal preference and adrenaline rush on MT vs AT, there are other aspects which i feel AT is needed,

1.It takes out driving as a man's speciality skill and gives opportunity to all section (Men, Women, Elders , Physically Challenged)
2.We need AT on all segment of Automobile , so that its real purpose ( for e.g a tractor or a mini van ) is done by anyone without much special skill.
3.When we desire to move from Agriculture Economy to Manufacturing Economy, we need instruments that is easy to use and one way every person can do that is by AT.Plug the key and do the job.
4.We can also see Car as thing , just like another utility e.g Iron box

Just my 2 cents
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Old 24th August 2016, 04:26   #44
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Other than personal preference and adrenaline rush on MT vs AT, there are other aspects which i feel AT is needed,

1.It takes out driving as a man's speciality skill and gives opportunity to all section (Men, Women, Elders , Physically Challenged)
2.We need AT on all segment of Automobile , so that its real purpose ( for e.g a tractor or a mini van ) is done by anyone without much special skill.
3.When we desire to move from Agriculture Economy to Manufacturing Economy, we need instruments that is easy to use and one way every person can do that is by AT.Plug the key and do the job.
4.We can also see Car as thing , just like another utility e.g Iron box

Just my 2 cents
I agree with 1 to 3. As for 4, today all multi-crore rupees super cars and sports cars come with AT and AT only. Can we call them utility iron boxes? People drool over them and they are dream cars. On the other hand we have sub-4 lakh hatches which come with MT only. Can we call them dream machines just because they come with MT box? It all depends on looks, power, oomph factor, badge and price. Irrespective of gear box, whether MT or AT, a multi-crore car will be a dream car and a sub-5 lakh car will be a utility car whether it came with MT or AT or both.
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Old 24th August 2016, 08:02   #45
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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I agree with 1 to 3. As for 4, today all multi-crore rupees super cars and sports cars come with AT and AT only. Can we call them utility iron boxes? People drool over them and they are dream cars. On the other hand we have sub-4 lakh hatches which come with MT only. Can we call them dream machines just because they come with MT box? It all depends on looks, power, oomph factor, badge and price. Irrespective of gear box, whether MT or AT, a multi-crore car will be a dream car and a sub-5 lakh car will be a utility car whether it came with MT or AT or both.
I totally agree with your view .No intention to discount the passion in the industry , being a fan myself.I can practically see the flexibility in using AT vehicles across board irrespective of size , shape or purpose.
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