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Old 18th August 2016, 16:06   #1
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Default Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

The Indian car industry is clearly showing an inclination towards cars with automatic transmission. The main reason behind this change in market response lies in the growing traffic woes in all major cities. Moreover, the automatic transmission technology is continuously being improved to make it more affordable and durable. These reasons have cumulatively resulted in a two-fold increase in the number of car sales in 2015, as compared to its preceding year.

Last year, 7% of all new cars sold had expensive automatic transmissions. All new launches that have been given an automatic transmission option are showing a positive response for the AT. To bring things in perspective, half of the total sales of the recently launched Toyota Innova Crysta are that of the automatic variants. Similarly, out of all Hyundai Creta models sold till date, 20% are automatics. Honda too is betting big on the new transmission trend, as automatics account to 23% of the sales of the Jazz and the City. One in every four petrol cars that Honda sells is an automatic.

The introduction of automated manual transmission (AMT) has further given a boost to the rising segment. The Maruti Celerio became popular only because of its AMT option that still serves as its USP in the segment. In terms of sales numbers, 44% of the Celerios sold employ AMTs. Even the Alto K10 and the WagonR are being bought with AMTs, which account to 20% of their overall sales.

Maruti Suzuki offers an AMT gearbox in the Alto K10, WagonR, Celerio, and the Swift DZire. The company’s new premium hatchback, the Maruti Baleno, is offered with a CVT option. Higher in the price bracket, the Ertiga and the Ciaz get conventional ATs. Cumulatively, Maruti Suzuki sold 56,000 automatic cars in FY 15-16, up from 32,000 units in the previous year, thus showing a 75% jump.

Even old automatic cars that have been in the market for a fairly long time have shown an unprecedented sales growth during the last year. While 35% of the Fortuners sold in 2012 were automatics, the full-size SUV now constitutes 50% AT sales. Similarly, sales of the Corolla Altis automatic have jumped from 25% to 50% in the past four years.

Despite the inclination towards automatic transmissions, the Indian car market is still behind many other matured markets like the USA, where automatics constitute 80% of the total car sales.

Source: ET Auto

Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market-toyotainnovacrysta18.jpg

Link to Team-BHP News

Last edited by dZired : 18th August 2016 at 16:08.
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Old 18th August 2016, 16:22   #2
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Now that the country's largest manufacturer has adopted AT in the AMT avatar, I'd expect sales to get even stronger.

Give it a few years, once the reliability of AT and AMT is proven, and I'd bet that 7% figure to multiply a few times over.

Move over FE, given the traffic in almost every tier 1 and 2 city, I think a good amount of people would gladly consider getting an AMT at the slight expense of FE.

Also, with MS having introduced AMT through their range, AT will no longer be considered as a luxury for the privileged few.

The only challenges I see: manufacturers sticking awful engines with the AT boxes (Corolla), or sticking awful AT boxes with good engines (Hyundai with the 4-speed AT). That, and the continued perception of DSG as terribly unreliable.
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Old 18th August 2016, 16:45   #3
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Though the largest manufacturer has adopted AT, they are not too keen to sell them. Two in my family recently tried to buy their automatics, and the sales reps discouraged them. So both went with Honda Jazz.

So, it is pretty much a monopoly of a few manufacturers in the below 10 lakhs category, and hence customer has very little bargaining power.
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Old 18th August 2016, 17:23   #4
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

The outlook of most Indian customers is changing. People are certainly ready to pay a premium for cars (Creta, Innova Crysta) which have will guarantee fuss-free ownership. We're also moving to ATs in a big way because of the lower segments. When you introduce a AT in a budget car and advertise widely, people shopping in the higher segments think about AT options too.

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Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Give it a few years, once the reliability of AT and AMT is proven, and I'd bet that 7% figure to multiply a few times over.
Only DSGs are unreliable. I don't think it's reasonable to question the reliability of other types of Automatics.
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Old 18th August 2016, 17:37   #5
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Originally Posted by Bh.P View Post
Though the largest manufacturer has adopted AT, they are not too keen to sell them. Two in my family recently tried to buy their automatics, and the sales reps discouraged them. So both went with Honda Jazz.

So, it is pretty much a monopoly of a few manufacturers in the below 10 lakhs category, and hence customer has very little bargaining power.
Even in this age of internet and all the product information being a mouse-click away, people go by the advice of sales reps? Tech, spec and feature knowledge these reps possess about the very cars they sell is abysmal. Yesterday's fridge salesman becomes today's car salesman. What level of knowledge people expect from them? Most of them are school dropouts whose knowledge of cars is no more than any average joe's. Wonder what the company management has to say to such sweeping opinions of these reps. All over the world cars are shifting to automatics and we see gradual decline of MT cars and here are our car sales reps who seem to know more about the cars than their masters who manufacture these cars.

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.
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Old 18th August 2016, 17:46   #6
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Even in this age of internet and all the product information being a mouse-click away, people go by the advice of sales reps?
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.
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Old 18th August 2016, 18:30   #7
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Now that the discussion is again on automatics, can I get information about Ford DCT in Ecosport? Even in the forum there are mixed opinions about reliability of transmission because it is with dry clutch and that there are issues with 1st and 2nd gear in bumper to bumper traffic, where at times the car launches without warning !

I am out in the market for an auto-box and am very keen on DCT instead of a CVT with seems to be a safe bet (except outright performance).

Would be very happy to get advise to firm up my decision. Availability is not an issue; both Ecosport AT and Jazz AT are readily available.
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Old 19th August 2016, 12:32   #8
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Automatics would have been more popular if manufacturers offered them as an alternative in all trim levels instead of being made available only in the top end ( too expensive), or lower trims (without enough creature comforts). The popularity will increase over time.

I think the US market is close to 99%. I was watching an M5 review recently and the reviewer was saying that gearbox is nearly 10 years old or two generations behind in automotive terms, the DCT blows the manual out of the water. BMW has dropped the manual M5 (USA only option) because no one wanted it. Newer top end cars have GPS linked systems that select a gear based on the road, how much better can a driver do with a manual transmission? Automatics also offer the advantage of not having to go through a clutch replacement scam.
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Old 19th August 2016, 14:47   #9
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Quote:
Originally Posted by i74js View Post
Now that the discussion is again on automatics, can I get information about Ford DCT in Ecosport? Even in the forum there are mixed opinions about reliability of transmission because it is with dry clutch and that there are issues with 1st and 2nd gear in bumper to bumper traffic, where at times the car launches without warning !

I am out in the market for an auto-box and am very keen on DCT instead of a CVT with seems to be a safe bet (except outright performance).

Would be very happy to get advise to firm up my decision. Availability is not an issue; both Ecosport AT and Jazz AT are readily available.
I have driven Ford AT (both Aspire & Figo twins and EcoSport) and I didn't feel any issues with the AT. In fact I felt they are better than the Honda as far as responsiveness of the AT gearbox is concerned. The only thing is that we are yet to hear a single case of Honda's CVT going wrong (they have in the past...we have a thread on it in TBHP but that is 2010 era) in the recent years.

If driving pleasure doesn't really matter and what you are looking for is

a) long term reliability (7-8 years of fuss free ownership)
b) effortless daily city commute with occasional highway usage

then in my opinion, you should safely go for a Jazz. I too am in the same boat as yours and ultimately it boils down to Jazz taking all into consideration, so I may well book it soon.

Also, you might want to wait for the i20 AT that will be released around the festival time (1-2 months). That will be either

a) 1.2L engine mated to the stone-age 4-speed torque converter gearbox or
b) 1.4L engine mated to a recent 6-speed gearbox.

If its the 1.2 engine with 4-speed gearbox, you may safely give it a miss as its just not worth it. Doesn't really cost much to wait for a month. If it is disappointing, you can always book a Jazz.

Do let us know what you decide !

Last edited by toofanwheels : 19th August 2016 at 14:57.
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Old 19th August 2016, 15:51   #10
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Good signs - this may in turn increase the value of automatics in secondhand market.
Till now whenever I tried to get a valuation done for my car I have heard that price shall be lesser than the similar MT model as FE is lower.
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Old 19th August 2016, 17:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
Newer top end cars have GPS linked systems that select a gear based on the road, how much better can a driver do with a manual transmission? .

A GPS based gear selection? Do you have more information on that?

Jeroen
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Old 19th August 2016, 17:36   #12
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
A GPS based gear selection? Do you have more information on that?
GPS reads the road conditions ahead (steep gradient, curve etc) and predicts whether the car needs an upshift or downshift. So shifts will be quick and smooth affair.

The New Rolls-Royce Uses GPS To See The Future And 'Pre-Change' Gears
http://www.businessinsider.in/The-Ne...w/21288645.cms
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Old 19th August 2016, 17:36   #13
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

Indian roads have exactly the conditions where automatics offer the most value - stop & go traffic with frequent gearshifts. That 7% number is encouraging (compared to earlier years), but it would have been far more (I'd say 25%) if every car was available with an AT in every variant. Today, the choice of ATs is still fairly limited. Another contributor to their low penetration levels is the lack of choice among diesel ATs. Diesel ATs are more fuel efficient than their petrol counterparts - the difference is stark. Just how many sub-10 lakh cars have a diesel AT?

For cars from the mass market, the AMT is a game-changer due to its low cost. We'll definitely be seeing more AMTs from different manufacturers.

Luckily for ATs, they have somehow gotten a premium image in India. Guess that's because of all luxury cars being sold with an AT only. There's definite 'aspirational value' around a slushbox.

Enthusiasts like us will love our MTs for life. But the regular Ram - once he experiences an AT, he'll never come back to an MT. I know so many people who've given up MTs for good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Even in this age of internet and all the product information being a mouse-click away, people go by the advice of sales reps?
Nope. All manufacturers state that customers walking into their showrooms are now better informed and less likely to be swayed by the advisor's talk.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
A GPS based gear selection? Do you have more information on that?
Link 1 & Link 2.

Quote:
Satellite Aided Transmission uses GPS data to see beyond what the driver sees; it anticipates his next move based on location and current driving style, then selects the most appropriate gear for the terrain ahead. Corners, motorway junctions and roundabouts are all anticipated in advance meaning Wraith is constantly poised to deliver on its promise of performance.
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Old 19th August 2016, 17:58   #14
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Thanks Smartcat, GTO.
I had not seen this development yet. Principle is simple, but I guess its quite a challenge to develop the logic / algorithms to make efficient use of knowing what the road ahead looks like.

Love to learn some more. Worthy of its own thread.

Jeroen
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Old 19th August 2016, 21:54   #15
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Default Re: Automatics growing in popularity, but still only 7% of the market

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Indian roads have exactly the conditions where automatics offer the most value - stop & go traffic with frequent gearshifts. Enthusiasts like us will love our MTs for life. But the regular Ram - once he experiences an AT, he'll never come back to an MT. I know so many people who've given up MTs for good.
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.

My brother was never impressed with automatics before. But then he was forced to borrow my A-Star AT for a few days for his office commute. After that experience, he is a convert now. He even took the A-Star AT for a week-long holiday to Goa, leaving his Honda City MT to gather dust here. And yeah, his next car will be an automatic.

Last edited by smartcat : 19th August 2016 at 22:15.
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