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Old 6th February 2009, 12:40   #121
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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
This reminds me of the deabate between the virtues of using Manual SLR cameras vs. Automatic SLRs.

There was a school of thought that argued automatic (exposure and focusing) cameras take away the control and the pleasure of photography while the others pointed out that you can now focus more on the artistic side of photography (such as composition) since it frees you up from the mechanical tasks of setting the exposure and focusing.

Today, it is difficult to get a fully manual camera. Of course, modern SLRs do have manual mode but I suspect if they are ever used by anyone other then the studios where they go by light meters.

Simmilarly, I predict that there will a day automatic cars are the order of the day, financial aspects notwithstanding.
Just to point out that in absolute numbers the sale of the manual cameras has not reduced and most serious photographers use theirs in manual mode. I of course am a poor photographerr and use mine in one of the 'scene' modes. My photography is not 'art' and will never be. I am also not passionate about photography so I am happy muddling along with my SLR in 'scene' modes.

GTO has already poinnted out that the sale of Automatic trannys has overtaken the sale of Manual geared vehicles. So automatics are already the order of the day. We are not debating numbers here, we are discussing what we prefer as enthusiasts (not what is better for the Automobile manufacturers, FIAM etc. do that job very well thank you).

The difference is something akin to a gourmet meal prepared by a passionate chef vs. a fast food, takeaway or a DIY meal that comes in a box that you pop into the microwave. The fast food chains and TV dinner guys sell many more meals in a day that a chef prepares in a lifetime. Another example that springs to mind is the difference between a drummer in a band and a drum-machine.

Some enthusiasts like the convenience of automatics, particularly when used as runabouts in city bumper to bumper traffic. Some have a second vehicle with auto (so the wife can use it too), a fair number however prefer the manual for their pleasure drives.

Cheers,
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Old 6th February 2009, 12:50   #122
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
BTW, Automatics overtook Manuals in 2008 - for the first time ever - in global car sales.
When that is the case in India, I really hope that there is a good automatic sedan costing less than 8L
I am not against automatics, just against their cost, compared to the MT version of the AT car

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Your driver wouldn't last long . At a salary level of 6.5 - 7K, that's only 18 months of service.
Actually I know a guy who does it for about 2K. I have no idea how or why he does it, but he is hired by a close friend of mine and I have seen him drive. He is quite good. Also even if it costs one 6K, having a good driver will allow the owner to relax in the back. 18 months is a good period of time. It's one and a half years and for someone who sells their car every 2 or 3 years, that is a good VFM option.

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drivers are cheaper elsewhere. to put things in perspective, we paid a guy 4k a month, and that was considered to be pretty good
Good ones are still rare, but sometimes needs must.

Last edited by srijit : 6th February 2009 at 12:58.
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Old 6th February 2009, 13:10   #123
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Some enthusiasts like the convenience of automatics, particularly when used as runabouts in city bumper to bumper traffic. Some have a second vehicle with auto (so the wife can use it too), a fair number however prefer the manual for their pleasure drives.

Cheers,
I agree. I selected ANHC AT for the convenience of driving in the city .
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Old 6th February 2009, 20:18   #124
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If I needed and could afford to employ a driver (neither true) then I would be strongly inclined towards auto transmission.

Otherwise I would be nothing but a driving instructor for the first few weeks. No relaxation, watching the guy generally abuse and misuse the clutch and gears as I have observed many 'professional' drivers to do.
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Old 7th February 2009, 10:52   #125
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Automatics have come of age. In most new generation cars, they shift smoother (even compared to an experienced driver in a manual), are quicker (too many examples to list) and are becoming increasingly lower in maintenance (manual transmission clutch replacements notwithstanding). That said, I'd add the relevance of automatics depends on intended usage as well as the segment of car. For instance, cars like the S Class, 7 series & LS460 ought to be sold ONLY with an automatic (as they currently are). A manual tranny would be woefully out of place in this segment. Automatics are also particularly useful when 95% of your commute is within the city and in rush-hour traffic.

Butttttttttttttttttttttttt my vote is still for a slick-shifting 5 / 6 speed manual. Nothing comes close to being at one with the car, not even the quickest shifting slushbox. Simply put, an automatic takes the driving pleasure out of a car for me.
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Old 7th February 2009, 11:59   #126
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
Some have a second vehicle with auto (so the wife can use it too)
I do wish people wouldn't say things like that; I have never found much correlation between gender and the ability to use a gear box. I see many men that misuse gear boxes, as per my remark about drivers above
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Old 7th February 2009, 18:20   #127
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Originally Posted by srijit View Post
I am not against automatics, just against their cost, compared to the MT version of the AT car


Actually I know a guy who does it for about 2K. I have no idea how or why he does it, but he is hired by a close friend of mine and I have seen him drive.
Good ones are still rare, but sometimes needs must.
Very nice of that driver, but there is no way that one can hire a driver for 2K (or even double that( in metros or even in other top 20 cities, unless it is your wife or son. Forget about a good driver for anything less than 6K. At 4.5K in Delhi, you get an entry level driver who is out for a raise once he is in service for 3 months.

In 2006 (that is 2.5 years back) I hired drivers when my office shifted to Gurgaon. In 6 mths, I changed 6 drivers. Some left after 3 weeks because they started at 4.5K and then starting demanding more after 2 weeks. In addition to this cost, there is the cost of lower FE (inevitably), less inefficient use of AC (keeping it on all the time), more clutch driving (why shift to neutral), not switching off the engine at red lights. Reminders served no purpose and caused them to leave. I calculated these to be an additional Rs. 500-600 per month, in addition to the frustration of seeing your car being run to ground, and tolerate the damage done to your car. I hvave now found out that in metros, one must pay at least Rs. 7-8 K/month for a decent driver. In between drivers, I drove on my own and my FE was invariably higher by at least 1 km per litre

Tired of all this, I vowed off drivers (unless I was willing to pay 7-8K/mth) and bought an AT. Now, my mental and physical fatigue is gone. Bottomline: drivers do make sense if you do not like to drive or want to drive or unable to drive, but there can be little case for cost comparison for hiring a driver in a lower cost manual vs driving your own higher cost AT.
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Old 9th February 2009, 15:56   #128
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Default Are Automatics here at last?

With the launch of the Verna Automatic as well as a couple of automatics in the SUV segment and upgradation of the City Automatic to 5-speeds with an electronic clutch lock the question arises: Is India finally ready for Automatics in the lower / mid-end cars. Given our chaotic town traffic the benefits of the auto are obvious.

Two other points immediately emerge:

1. Will these be rudimentary or sophisticated with Torque Converter Lock up, four/five speeds, etc.

2.As the automatics have no engine braking (except in low) will we see upgraded brakes in autos. Both my Zen Auto (1999-2005) and Santro Auto uswe up their disc pads in 20,000-22,000km!
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Old 9th February 2009, 18:44   #129
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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
With the launch of the Verna Automatic as well as a couple of automatics in the SUV segment and upgradation of the City Automatic to 5-speeds with an electronic clutch lock the question arises: Is India finally ready for Automatics in the lower / mid-end cars. Given our chaotic town traffic the benefits of the auto are obvious.

Two other points immediately emerge:

1. Will these be rudimentary or sophisticated with Torque Converter Lock up, four/five speeds, etc.

2.As the automatics have no engine braking (except in low) will we see upgraded brakes in autos. Both my Zen Auto (1999-2005) and Santro Auto uswe up their disc pads in 20,000-22,000km!
As you've already pointed out we've started getting a lot more autos, so, yes, I think manufacturers have realized there is demand and autos are here to stay. Having said that, in segments where price is king, manuals will continue to rule the roost.
About brakes, I don't know about other cars but I remember a Hyundai service advisor telling me that the Santro AT comes with upgraded brakes.
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Old 10th February 2009, 09:51   #130
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As you've already pointed out we've started getting a lot more autos, so, yes, I think manufacturers have realized there is demand and autos are here to stay. Having said that, in segments where price is king, manuals will continue to rule the roost.
About brakes, I don't know about other cars but I remember a Hyundai service advisor telling me that the Santro AT comes with upgraded brakes.
Owning a Santro Auto I should know? I had to change the front pads at 22,500kma couple of months ago! Unless they have upgraded in the past three years, which I do not think they have.

One point you missed out : Our obsession with the mileage. It is humorous to see people with cars, to buy which, you probably need your own oil worrying about 'kitna degi'.
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Old 10th February 2009, 10:11   #131
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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
Owning a Santro Auto I should know? I had to change the front pads at 22,500kma couple of months ago! Unless they have upgraded in the past three years, which I do not think they have.

One point you missed out : Our obsession with the mileage. It is humorous to see people with cars, to buy which, you probably need your own oil worrying about 'kitna degi'.
I wonder why there will be no 'engine breaking' in automatics. When you lift off the foot from accelerator, it should cut/reduce fuel supply which should result in engine slowing down. Of course if it comes down to a threshhold to 'shift down' it will do so.
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Old 10th February 2009, 10:40   #132
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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
I wonder why there will be no 'engine breaking' in automatics. When you lift off the foot from accelerator, it should cut/reduce fuel supply which should result in engine slowing down. Of course if it comes down to a threshhold to 'shift down' it will do so.
In the interest of economy the wheels are disconnected whenever the engine speed is lower than the drive shaft speed. Also, it may have soemthing to do with the loading of the torque converter.

Only in the 'low' range do you have the benefit of engine braking.

I remember one scary incident in the 70's. We had hired a Peugeot Automatic and were in the Grenble region of France. We were descending into Grenoble from the Vercours (I think). There is a downhill run of about 13+km. All of a sudden the brakes softened and almost failed. We managed to avoid a disaster by going up a slip road which luckily just happened to be there. On stopping we found the brakes really hot and hence had faded! A salutory lesson that when descending in hills use the lowe range.
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Old 10th February 2009, 10:49   #133
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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I remember one scary incident in the 70's. We had hired a Peugeot Automatic and were in the Grenble region of France.
The key here is the 1970s and Peugeot.
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Old 10th February 2009, 11:27   #134
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Originally Posted by vasudeva View Post

In 2006 (that is 2.5 years back) I hired drivers when my office shifted to Gurgaon. In 6 mths, I changed 6 drivers. Some left after 3 weeks because they started at 4.5K and then starting demanding more after 2 weeks. In addition to this cost, there is the cost of lower FE (inevitably), less inefficient use of AC (keeping it on all the time), more clutch driving (why shift to neutral), not switching off the engine at red lights. Reminders served no purpose and caused them to leave. I calculated these to be an additional Rs. 500-600 per month, in addition to the frustration of seeing your car being run to ground, and tolerate the damage done to your car. I hvave now found out that in metros, one must pay at least Rs. 7-8 K/month for a decent driver. In between drivers, I drove on my own and my FE was invariably higher by at least 1 km per litre

Tired of all this, I vowed off drivers (unless I was willing to pay 7-8K/mth) and bought an AT. Now, my mental and physical fatigue is gone. Bottomline: drivers do make sense if you do not like to drive or want to drive or unable to drive, but there can be little case for cost comparison for hiring a driver in a lower cost manual vs driving your own higher cost AT.
I am currently into similar confusion and found car to respond & breath better when drove my self, though drive down on delhi roads with manual gears aren't too much fun. Still as i 'll be having the manual one with me for another a year, i might need to survive on poor drivers.

Next car is to be automatic anyhow !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
In the interest of economy the wheels are disconnected whenever the engine speed is lower than the drive shaft speed. Also, it may have soemthing to do with the loading of the torque converter.

Only in the 'low' range do you have the benefit of engine braking.

I remember one scary incident in the 70's. We had hired a Peugeot Automatic and were in the Grenble region of France. We were descending into Grenoble from the Vercours (I think). There is a downhill run of about 13+km. All of a sudden the brakes softened and almost failed. We managed to avoid a disaster by going up a slip road which luckily just happened to be there. On stopping we found the brakes really hot and hence had faded! A salutory lesson that when descending in hills use the lowe range.
I think modern day automatics are much capable then that of 70's and should not be having such issue too much.
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Old 10th February 2009, 11:35   #135
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I think Vasudev's remark must be appropriate. I have driven a number of automatics, and have never observed the engine speed to drop to idling when the accelerator is released. There is always some engine braking, just as there is some, albeit not a lot, when driving a manual in 5th gear.
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