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Old 26th August 2009, 13:00   #1
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Default Sales of Automatics taking off

According to a recent article - Rear View: Automatic car sales shift into top gear- Automobiles-Auto-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
the sales of AT laden cars are rising in India. Is the Indian consumer finally shaking off all the standard (and mostly unture) excuses like ATs have lower FE, ATs are harder to maintain, etc?
The hope is that all manufacturers wake up to this trend and start offering AT as a choice on their entire range - not just the very high end stuff.
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Old 26th August 2009, 14:28   #2
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WHat I dont understand is why Ford, being an american company, cant offer automatics at least in the fiesta diesel. I'm sure it will sell like crazy.
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Old 26th August 2009, 14:47   #3
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Indian consumers are leaning towards the automatics since experiencing them in the heavy traffic areas of crowded cities like Delhi and Bombay is quite beneficial.
Its pretty ease not having to press the clutch and shfting gears hundreds of time.

The manufacturers are waking up, but gradually.
In India some people listen to rumors quite readily as in low FEs and maintenance of ATs without even trying it.

Atleast some of the hatchbaks are coming in ATs now.

Last edited by Dante : 26th August 2009 at 15:04.
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Old 26th August 2009, 14:52   #4
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Originally Posted by NIP View Post
WHat I dont understand is why Ford, being an american company, cant offer automatics at least in the fiesta diesel. I'm sure it will sell like crazy.
Why Ford, not even GM offers automatics in their cars (except perhaps Captiva). Of course, they had the Optra AT which hardly sold.
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Old 26th August 2009, 14:59   #5
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I for one definitely want to own an Automatic, and Yes, I think the number of people opting for Automatics is slowly but steadily increasing. In about 5-7 yrs from now, I think about 50% of new cars hitting the roads will be Automatics. I just wish the price of Automatics come's down and they get more efficient with time.

Last edited by musicmanaman : 26th August 2009 at 15:04.
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIP View Post
WHat I dont understand is why Ford, being an american company, cant offer automatics at least in the fiesta diesel. I'm sure it will sell like crazy.
They don't offer diesel auto's in their global markets as it is
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:04   #7
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I feel, the demand was already their to be exploited in the Indian car market for the Automatic vehicles. Now that Automatics are available in even in cars like Santro, Wagon R, i10, i20 , verna, etc. makes it more affordable for the masses to own it. Perhaps, going by the sale of automatic, ford and GM might also introduce AT cars sooner.Perhaps, the Americans are wary of misreading the market and taking a wait and watch stance.
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmanaman View Post
I for one definitely want to own an Automatic, and Yes, I think the number of people opting for Automatics is slowly but steadily increasing. In about 5-7 yrs from now, I think about 50% of new cars hitting the roads will be Automatics. I just wish the price of Automatics come's down and they get more efficient with time.
That 50% will happen only if (1) Indians become a lot richer than they are and start graduating to higher-priced ATs (2) Indians suddenly change their buying preferences and ask for automatics even in small cars/compacts (3) Maruti and Hyundai phase out manuals. None of this is likely to happen in the next 5 years.

For 50% to happen, the compact segment will have to account for the most and that is not likely to happen anytime in the near term. Indians still prefer lower cost (ATs are expensive) and higher FE above anything else.

If you look at the present scenario, 80% of domestic sales are for compacts and minis. Not even perhaps 1% of those would be AT (Santro/i10/i20 are the only ATs here). Add Nano, and even that 1% would go down.
Mid size is another 17% and except for Honda City, all are manuals. Honda city may have a 10-20% AT penetration, but then Honda City is only 16% of mid-size.

I think the newspaper posted the article because of a need to fill the page for that day. Another thing: Jetta AT is 2 lakhs dearer than a manual. Is that correct, and if so, it is a whole lot more expensive.
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:16   #9
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I find that automatics are pretty common even in SE Asian countries. If you look at the Honda car lineup in countries like Thailand, all trims (S, V SV etc) have automatic options. Here it is usually the other way. AT is typically available only in the highest trim level models with a substantial premium.
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Old 26th August 2009, 15:28   #10
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I feel its addictive too as far as automatics go- I have always been in love with it but couldnt afford a petrol automatic initially then went for Santro AT and happy with it. Then waited endlesslessly for Verna AT/ Optra Magnum AT. Sold Verna MT and happy with Laura AT. After Laura AT- Santro AT feels a bit old generation nevertheless, for convenience its as much sweet. Just switch on and go!

Have actually felt AT cars are such a boon even in the twisties and ghats apart from crowded streets as I was spared the hassles of choosing the gears and exercising my left hand & foot too much.

I feel now lazy to take out Safari for short trips and prefer convenience of automatics.

Now time for an affordable SUV AT- Captiva - though diesel is too pricey and I am still skeptical abut the company's stability and continuity of the product after sales support. Outlander,GV and CRV are available only in petrol. GV 4*4 in diesel around 20Lakhs would be a good buy or an Outlander AT in diesel /Fortuner AT -4WD within Rs 22 on the road would feel great ( affordable).

However, all my friends who own cars and know about mine too donot agree with my choice or at best are indifferent. No one in my circle has bought an AT. They like Laura but not because its AT - for all other reasons. ( May be after hearing the stories about Skoda's reputation- they should be thinking I am an eccentric who buys AT and on top of that a Skoda!)

Last edited by shatrughna : 26th August 2009 at 15:31.
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Old 26th August 2009, 16:13   #11
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Default Agree on the addictive nature of AT...

True story about the AT - we had a Maruti 800 for ever and when I bought the Santro AT, dad was the biggest opponent of that decision. Dad was adamant that I go for a swift and that I would like the MT soon (used to driving ATs in America). I stuck to my guns and still got the AT.

A year later the picture is now totally reversed - dad loves the Santro AT in the traffic - so much so that he stopped using the trusty old 800 and sold it off .
He is a total fan of the AT so much so that when I mentioned that I was eager to buy the New new Honda City, he immediately suggested the AT model!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shatrughna View Post
I feel its addictive too as far as automatics go- I have always been in love with it but couldnt afford a petrol automatic initially then went for Santro AT and happy with it. Then waited endlesslessly for Verna AT/ Optra Magnum AT. Sold Verna MT and happy with Laura AT. After Laura AT- Santro AT feels a bit old generation nevertheless, for convenience its as much sweet. Just switch on and go!

Have actually felt AT cars are such a boon even in the twisties and ghats apart from crowded streets as I was spared the hassles of choosing the gears and exercising my left hand & foot too much.
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Old 26th August 2009, 17:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shatrughna View Post
I feel its addictive too as far as automatics go- I have always been in love with it but couldnt afford a petrol automatic initially then went for Santro AT and happy with it. Then waited endlesslessly for Verna AT/ Optra Magnum AT. Sold Verna MT and happy with Laura AT. After Laura AT- Santro AT feels a bit old generation nevertheless, for convenience its as much sweet. Just switch on and go!

Have actually felt AT cars are such a boon even in the twisties and ghats apart from crowded streets as I was spared the hassles of choosing the gears and exercising my left hand & foot too much.

I feel now lazy to take out Safari for short trips and prefer convenience of automatics.

Now time for an affordable SUV AT- Captiva - though diesel is too pricey and I am still skeptical abut the company's stability and continuity of the product after sales support. Outlander,GV and CRV are available only in petrol. GV 4*4 in diesel around 20Lakhs would be a good buy or an Outlander AT in diesel /Fortuner AT -4WD within Rs 22 on the road would feel great ( affordable).

However, all my friends who own cars and know about mine too donot agree with my choice or at best are indifferent. No one in my circle has bought an AT. They like Laura but not because its AT - for all other reasons. ( May be after hearing the stories about Skoda's reputation- they should be thinking I am an eccentric who buys AT and on top of that a Skoda!)
So I meet another mad chap who like me has a Laura AT as well as a Safari. I know the feeling.

I also had a Cielo AT earlier.
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Old 26th August 2009, 19:08   #13
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Hi friends. Considering the present situation the automatics are really a breakthrough in Indian market. I currently own a Honda city MT and my dad finds it difficult to drive since this is the first car he is driving. Whereas my friend got an i10 automatic to his dad which is again the first car in his family too. The i10 gives around 15kmpl on highways. His dad finds it a lot more easier and nowadays recommends automatic transmission to all his friends. Now i am thinking of buying a hatchback with automatic transmission for my uncle which is the first car for him. I am left out with only i20 which is the only one we get in premium hatchbacks with automatic transmission. But i am attracted more towards Jazz. So waiting for Honda to launch Jazz AT.
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Old 26th August 2009, 20:23   #14
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If there's anyone happy to hear of this trend, its the dude typing this post . Some of our members have been strong advocates of automatic transmissions. Simply because they were designed for our kind of bumper-to-bumper driving conditions (and NOT straight American freeways). ATs make sense even when you are being chauffeur-driven (no driver causing *jhatkas). Sure, they are more expensive & generally consume 10% more fuel (not the DSGs though). Still, its a small price for the convenience on hand.

Not that I'm going to buy an automatic daily driver for myself. I relish the feel of a smooth manual box and working through the gears.

Trivia : So I'm at a party in the States and there is a car blocking someone elses way. This car was a manual and of all the people in the party, NO ONE knew how to drive a stick shift. Except me, of course.
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Old 26th August 2009, 20:27   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Trivia : So I'm at a party in the States and there is a car blocking someone elses way. This car was a manual and of all the people in the party, NO ONE knew how to drive a stick shift. Except me, of course.
And that's how GTO saved the day .

Didn't realise it was that bad in the States that a majority can't drive manuals. Its not particularly hard to learn but its very useful to know how to drive it even if you prefer an auto for your daily use.
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