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Old 7th July 2010, 21:51   #76
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Just had a thought: Maybe it is because it is natural to use the right hand for steering, and left hand for other things. So in left-hand-drive countries, maybe driving a stickshift is not so comfortable because the right hand has to be on the wheel and not on the stick, so people started preferring automatic over a period of time.

P.S: Yes I know it is an old thread .
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Old 7th July 2010, 22:23   #77
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Question should be, why manual over automatic?

Why do you want to put in the effort to use clutch and gear when all you want to do is drive from home to the grocery store/work on straight roads that involve 2 or 3 turns?

Why would you want to drive a Manual when at least 60% of the commute is on freeways in the top gear.

Why would you want to complicate learning how to drive at the age of 16 by concentrating on more than one thing? Keeping the car straight and following rules is stressful as it is.

There is lies the answer. For 80% of the people cars are nothing but means of travel, getting from point A to Point B. You want to make it as easy and painless as possible.
That is why people prefer thick cushioned contoured seats that are comfortable to recaro race seats.
That is why people prefer leather and luxury inside the car over handling, and why people prefer Auto over Manual and Toyota over a much sportier Mazda.
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Old 8th July 2010, 01:43   #78
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Totally agree to Mayavi's Point of view. It has lot to do with the infrastructure, the roads are wide ,straight and well laid with proper signals & caution signs. These things resulted in high speed traffic 50-60 miles within the city limits (varies from state to state). You need to really concentrate well on the road as any misadventure can be deadly simple. Driving a stick shift complicate matters, you are more engaged with the vehicle rather than the road, hence people prefer simpler things in life.
I know in our country automatics are not popular because of 2 primary reason, first it is expensive , secondly the mileage is not that great. Hence its not sucessful in our market.
Gas in America is $2.75/g which is dam cheap, hence no one care much about efficiency. Car's are also cheaper compared to average income.

Hence Automatics wins & manual sticks fail to be popular.
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Old 8th July 2010, 02:11   #79
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Originally Posted by tj123 View Post
Gas in America is $2.75/g which is dam cheap, hence no one care much about efficiency. Car's are also cheaper compared to average income.
Its cheaper, but not by a lot. Gasoline and diesel usage and pricing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Also most of the high end cars have something like steptronic transmission. One can switch to a sportier manual (without clutch) or drive in auto mode. I hardly drive my Saab in the manual mode while commuting to work. I do switch to manual when I want to go on the twisties on local mountains.

Also efficiency of manual cars is often overrated in India. The cars being a little expensive people console themselves with the fuel efficiency reason. For a bad driver who constantly drives in low gears, an auto would give better mileage.
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Old 8th July 2010, 06:46   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbasak View Post
Except USA/Canada probably no other country drives only automatics.
Even in Australia, people drive cars with AT.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
So in left-hand-drive countries, maybe driving a stickshift is not so comfortable because the right hand has to be on the wheel and not on the stick, so people started preferring automatic over a period of time.
Australia follows 'Keep left', i.e., cars are RHD.

I think, preference to AT over MT is due to reasons like affordability, good infrastructure, people do not mind spending extra for comfort, etc.
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Old 8th July 2010, 07:26   #81
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I agree, when you have to drive hundreds of miles a day, the thrill of manual control is the last thing you would be looking at. it would be over within 15 mins of straight line driving at 65 mph. same with comfort level. for long distances you would be better off in a camry than in a sporty porsche AFAIK.
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Old 8th July 2010, 09:23   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Just had a thought: Maybe it is because it is natural to use the right hand for steering, and left hand for other things. So in left-hand-drive countries, maybe driving a stickshift is not so comfortable because the right hand has to be on the wheel and not on the stick, so people started preferring automatic over a period of time.

USA, Japan & Korea have probably the highest %age of automatics.
Japan drives on the same side of the road as us, unlike USA & Korea. So that's not a correct explanation.
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Old 8th July 2010, 15:06   #83
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Perhaps the debate becomes irrelevant with the increasing occurrence of the "triptronic" gearbox, which works as an automatic or a manual, as you wish. Limited to top-end cars, such as BMW, in the 90s, it is commonplace today. My Peugeot 307 CC (2004 model) has one, and so did the rented Ford Focus 1.6 (a plebian car, wouldn't you say ?) which I drove in New Zealand recently.

It is fun to use this gearbox on winding roads and in hilly terrain, because you can shift up and down the gears, very smoothly, without using a clutch. It gives excellent engine braking as well as full acceleration out of a curve. Even in a city it is brilliant, because while in manual the gearbox shifts down automatically when you slow down, and ends up in 1st gear when you stop fully at a traffic light. Engine speed limiters prevent you from attempting to drive in too low or too high a gear when in manual.

Does any of the automatics available in India have this feature ?
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Old 8th July 2010, 15:39   #84
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Why do developed countries use autos?

1. Cost of cars(both manual and automatic) is lesser. Autos are much more expensive in India compared to their manual counter parts.
2. Fuel is cheaper.
3. Incomes are higher so FE figures aren't as heavily considered as in India or other developing countries.
4. Upkeep standards are higher making it easier to maintain automatics compared to India.
5. No overloading of CVs like India which puts undue load on the vehicle.
6.Better infrastructure, driving sense and the adherence to rules (Though this means that they can use manuals easier compared to autos).
7. Finally, lazzzy and rich people.
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Old 8th July 2010, 16:05   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Why do developed countries use autos?
It doesn't seem to be devoloped/devoloping divide.
Automatics are a majority in USA, Japan & Korea. They aren't as popular in Europe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
1. Cost of cars(both manual and automatic) is lesser. Autos are much more expensive in India compared to their manual counter parts.
Automatics are more expensive even in the US, I think.
Around 10 years back the difference between a manual & an automatic Corrola was around 800-1000$, I think.

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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
4. Upkeep standards are higher making it easier to maintain automatics compared to India.
Not sure I understand

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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
5. No overloading of CVs like India which puts undue load on the vehicle.
What is CV? And how is the load relevant?
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Old 8th July 2010, 17:02   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
It doesn't seem to be devoloped/devoloping divide. Automatics are a majority in USA, Japan & Korea. They aren't as popular in Europe.
That is correct. I've talked to many of my colleagues in Germany and also observed that in Europe, people like to drive and know their car better than, say an American, on average. Even if they have automatic, it's very likely that it's a tiptronic or DSG or something which gives manual control. Actually, I've seen purely auto boxes only in taxis over here.

Just another observation : Popular motor sports of US and Europe. US has NASCAR, Drag racing etc where speed is the most critical parameter. In Europe, you have rallying where control comes first. Maybe that shows the general mindset of the people on this side of the pond and the other.
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Old 8th July 2010, 17:29   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benu9714 View Post
Perhaps the debate becomes irrelevant with the increasing occurrence of the "triptronic" gearbox, which works as an automatic or a manual, as you wish.
Does any of the automatics available in India have this feature ?
Yes, many cars including Chevy Cruze and upcoming VW Vento have triptronics.

Triptronics and Hondas paddle shifters still have torque converters which have some drawbacks (some positives as well) like 'energy loss'. Wonder why Fiat's 'sequential auto' which has all advantages of manual with the convenience of a triptronics is not very common.
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Old 8th July 2010, 17:54   #88
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This thread has got life after a gap of one year?

Not only americans but many other nations use more Automatic than manual's.

Recently I was in Malaysia (was there in for 10days) and travelled quite a lot. the longest was from penang to KL and back. All these days I have not seen any MT cars. Also I have not seen a house without atleast one car and one motor bike.

The fuel price is low ( 2 malaysia dollar equal to about Rs.28/-). They maintain road discipline well. In my travel from penang to KL (about 450kms one way) hardly I have seen any zigzag driving or lane cutting (ofcourse one or two people making such mistakes but were caught immediately by the cops very sooner ) and most of them maintain a speed of 80 to 120kmph.So for them the AT may not incur more expense because of clean and straight roads with comfortable driving.

My friend whose left hand is numb (unable move the left hand on its own), still happily driving a AT car with using only one hand, because no need for his left hand for changing gears like in case of MT cars. So most of them feel comfort in driving AT cars.
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Old 8th July 2010, 18:20   #89
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I personally think, it is the convenience offered by automatics people go for it.

My Points:
1) If the fuel prices are cheap in India, i think most of us would go for an auto.
2) Awareness is very little.
3) Fuel efficiency ofcourse.

Off Topic, how many of us would like to ride a scooter/ets with gear's? How many of us prefer to play NFS with stick shifts?
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Old 8th July 2010, 19:00   #90
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I read somewhere on the www something similar to this.

An American wonders "how can I use two legs to control three pedals?"

Murthy
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