Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11th March 2005, 07:29   #1
LLL
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Delhi
Posts: 634
Thanked: 2 Times
Question Automatics

I have been mostly a reader, but wanted to put out a thought for your opinion....

I think India has a huge market for Auto xmission cars.

1. People do not buy Auto cars because there is a perception that they are fuel hungry. For this, the driver needs to be an expert to use manual xmission to save on fuel, which is normally not the case. Most of drivers are average drivers with no skills to extract that additional km from every litre of fuel. In fact people destroy their clutch plates within no time. The maintenance expense is less which can somewhat compensate for perceived loss of FE.

2. Over the long run, the comfort of driving will compensate for the loss of FE.

3. However, Cost of auto model vs the manual model is a major deterrent.

I think the situation can change if a major auto manufacturer decides to take this head on and address this issue.

for e.g - if Tatas introduce auto models for Indica, indigo etc and sells them at the same cost as manual xmission cars. The cost of auto xmission will be easily compensated by much higher volumes. Diesel + auto will be a killer combination...once the auto xmission gains acceptance they can raise the prices on auto cars....

What do you guys think??
LLL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2005, 10:30   #2
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,735
Thanked: 89,303 Times
Default

Quote:
for e.g - if Tatas introduce auto models for Indica, indigo etc and sells them at the same cost as manual xmission cars. The cost of auto xmission will be easily compensated by much higher volumes. Diesel + auto will be a killer combination...once the auto xmission gains acceptance they can raise the prices on auto cars....
Theres no free lunch. If it costs them extra to make. its going to be an extra on the price tag.

And cost, therein, is the main factor for the unpopularity of automatics in our country. Increased acquisition cost, higher running costs and higher maintainence costs.

Its pretty surprising though that they are SO unpopular. You would think that with our traffic conditions, automatics would be a little more popular.

But then again, for the people who dont want to drive their car in traffic...theres always a chaffeur!

GTO
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2005, 22:49   #3
Team-BHP Support
 
.anshuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Good-Gaon
Posts: 7,710
Thanked: 8,930 Times
Default

If tata launches automatic versions of indica diesel and safari diesel their performance figures will be like 0-100kmph = just 35+seconds,just joking buddy,first fuel effiecient auto diesel is here -the skoda octavia 1.9auto.
.anshuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2005, 23:23   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: mumbai
Posts: 159
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

i think for indian's...it's all about FE/status/. autos are percieved as fuel hungry and they cost more to buy - so no go there.

most would rather buy a 'big car' - sedan without any trimmings and lug it around the city - for status sake - rather than buy a fully loaded small car with an auto box that would cost the same as the big car - and also take less fuel (than the big car) ...and of course be easier to drive

indians are strange - we have a long way to go in terms of intelligent decision making...
cream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2005, 23:27   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,717
Thanked: 425 Times
Default

Quote:
But then again, for the people who dont want to drive their car in traffic...theres always a chaffeur!
I agree. Employing a chaffeur is cheaper then buying, owning & maintaining a automatic. labour is cheap here after all!
p.s. i have seen chaffeur driven Maruti 800's!! It happens only in India!

Last edited by amit : 11th March 2005 at 23:28.
amit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th March 2005, 23:53   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Deeps's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Delhi/Noida
Posts: 1,090
Thanked: 67 Times
Default

Well, the auto scene is a bit better than what it used to be a few years ago due to the introduction of Santro, WagonR AT as well as AT becoming optional in the D segment. Apart from the City, is there an AT car in the C segment? There's no way TATA would invest in the R&D of autos when there's no certainty about the acceptance of autos in the market.

Autos being more thirsty is not a perception, its the reality...as far as i know. The same driver will be able to extract a better FE in a manual than an auto.
Deeps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2005, 02:27   #7
LLL
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Delhi
Posts: 634
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

Thanks Guys...we have a good and decent discussion going..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeps
Increased acquisition cost, higher running costs and higher maintainence costs.
Increased Acquisition cost can be compensated by higher volumes. I am sure once people start noticing ATs they will consider them in their buying decision. I do not see higher maintenance cost, infact maintenance cost is less as transmission is protected from human intervention.

Quote:
indians are strange - we have a long way to go in terms of intelligent decision making...
Quite true...but we are not incapable of it...someone needs to push us in the correct direction. Hence the proposal that a leading manufacturer should take the lead.

Quote:
There's no way TATA would invest in the R&D of autos when there's no certainty about the acceptance of autos in the market.
TATA was just an example...
Lets say Fiat were to offer AT at same price as manual...

Do you think a decent %age of population who wanted to

1. Buy Ford Flair, Corsa Sail change their mind and go for Fiat Palio AT??
2. Buy Fiat Petra MT would change their mind and go for AT?
LLL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2005, 11:06   #8
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,373
Thanked: 22,587 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
But then again, for the people who dont want to drive their car in traffic...theres always a chaffeur!
Hahahahahaa... that is so true.

Included with chauffeur >
-"automatic" driving
-"automatic" fuel filling
-"automatic" car wash
-"automatic" door opening (optional)
-"automatic" folding mirrors
-"automatic" parking

but then theres also bad points
-"automatic" scratches on car
-"automatic" bad radio station selection
-"automatic" sleep mode when parked

cya
R
Rehaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th March 2005, 16:10   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Deeps's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Delhi/Noida
Posts: 1,090
Thanked: 67 Times
Default

LLL, to a certain extent people will have to change their mindset if ATs are to become common on the roads. You mentioned that the AT box is protected from human intervention. But it does require regular oil-changes. And this will surely slip the minds of large number of people who don't bother to read the manual and who are so used to not bothering about maintenance of their MTs. And once the oil becomes ineffective, its just downhill for the ATs. Repairing an AT is not cheap. So there'll be a lot of negative publicity from the people who have suffered the above scenario.

Bringing ATs to the indian market is a different challenge for Tata as compared to Fiat. Fiat already have AT technology available to them where as Tata have never manufactured a single AT unit (as far as i know). I really don't see ATs catching on within the next 10 years.
Deeps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2005, 03:53   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 538
Thanked: 59 Times
Default

Just a different personal experience, (food for thought ???) :

I have extensively driven automatic and manual versions of the same brand and model of car.

In fact, the manual had a 1300cc engine while the automatic had a bigger 1500cc engine.

But I was *ALWAYS* getting better FE on the automatic than the manual, which surprised me to no end.

Also mind you, both cars have been driven by the same person (myself), at the exact same times of the day, in the exact same traffic and road conditions and on the exact same routes for the exact same distances. Also my calculations and recordings have not been made over a week's driving. I have made these observations and calculations over a period of close to 3 years. So my calculations on the FE could not have had a considerable margin for error.

The point I wish to make is, a manual transmission on its virtue alone cannot guarantee a better FE as compared to an identical model with automatic transmission. There are too many other factos. For eg. in my case it was not even a case of two totally different cars manufactured by different manufacturers. It was the same make except for engine displacement and transmission.

Another angle with respect to a point made above on "perception":

While it is true that automatics are perceived to be more thirsty, there is also an overwhelming perception, especially among the younger driving populace, that automatics are for over-the-hill-types or disabled people or something along those lines. For eg. this was the comment I received from a number of my friends when I told them about the automatic I was driving.

Also many people, myself included, do not appreciate the automatics because of the reduced level of man-machine interaction. While skilled use of the automatic can at various times give performance at par with manuals with respect to pick-up etc, there is always the feeling of being disconnected with the whole process. There is a very primitive pleasure in depressing the clutch, gripping the gear shift and down shifting at a high rpm and really letting it fly which cannot be had on an automatic. This is also the reason true performance cars, or even sport versions of higher end cars only offer manual transmissions, while other sedate variants of the same model offer automatic transmissions.

Having said that, there have been countless times I have thanked god for being in an automatic in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The sheer convenience of automatics in such conditions cannot be denied.

Last edited by hell_rider : 16th March 2005 at 03:57.
hell_rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2005, 08:19   #11
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,890
Thanked: 9,723 Times
Default

Hell Rider - two factors that contributed to this

1: In town, automatics are supposed to be more efficient as they keep the car in optimum gear. They lose out on the highway where they are a gear short and fluid efficiency losses become more apparent
2: A larger engined car can use less petrol than the smaller engined equivalent as the car is using less effort to shift the same weight. If you are using the extra performance - then thats another matter
ajmat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2005, 10:42   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Dippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 7,269
Thanked: 163 Times
Default

Quote:
Having said that, there have been countless times I have thanked god for being in an automatic in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The sheer convenience of automatics in such conditions cannot be denied.
I agree. I drive Andheri to Vile Parle in that killing traffic everyday and boy am I happy that I drive an Automatic. True that an auto doesnt give that really great feel as a manual but in a traffic hit city like Mumbai, the auto is the best bet for easy driving even if it compromises on FE. And yes I find kick down shifting almost as exciting as shifting down a gear, I'm sure most of friends who have sat in my car with me agree.

Quote:
there is also an overwhelming perception, especially among the younger driving populace, that automatics are for over-the-hill-types or disabled people or something along those lines.
Exactly my thoughts. There is a whole misconception that ATs are for disabled only . I have to always explain as an example that most of the cars driven in US are automatics.

Dippy

Last edited by Dippy : 16th March 2005 at 12:46.
Dippy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2005, 12:37   #13
Team-BHP Support
 
navin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: mumbai
Posts: 22,505
Thanked: 3,882 Times
Default

actually dippy, the US uses autos. europeans tend to go 50-50.
navin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2005, 12:45   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
Dippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 7,269
Thanked: 163 Times
Default

Quote:
actually dippy, the US uses autos. europeans tend to go 50-50.
I was referring to the US just put in rest of the world by mistake. My apologies

Dippy
Dippy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16th March 2005, 13:12   #15
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,890
Thanked: 9,723 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin
actually dippy, the US uses autos. europeans tend to go 50-50.
This stems from the fact that US cars had lazy torquey engines for undemanding roads and cheap fuel, large scale production of auto transmissions means economies of scale

Europeans - engines were previously not pwerful enought for auto boxes. Most small engine auto box cars were nasty to drive. Situ is improving, you find that D segment and above, auto's are becoming the norm
ajmat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Automatics : P or N at signals / traffic lights? siddheshb Technical Stuff 49 9th August 2017 13:33
Sales of Automatics taking off Need4Spd The Indian Car Scene 80 17th July 2010 22:35
The War of the Automatics. Which one is the best under 10 lakh? ashwinpak The Indian Car Scene 44 19th July 2009 19:50
Future automatics jesal The Indian Car Scene 48 28th December 2007 20:36
No affordable automatics available in Delhi until next year - Wierd! HSV The Indian Car Scene 19 27th December 2007 09:42


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 22:52.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks