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Old 7th August 2014, 14:35   #16
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

.... I must admit I have found the more powerfull the car/engine is the more auto boxes come into their own....

Jeroen
And since Indian car market is still dominated by small engines below 1200 CC, this will be another big reason manuals might continue to rule the roost in foreseeable future.

Also if I may add, the reliability of the AMT in Celerio might be the acid test. If too many problems are reported and repair/replacement cost is prohibitive, then the whole shift to automatics might be impacted. Although considering the simplicity and reputation of AMT thus far, this seems unlikely.

For now though it seems that the Celerio and Zest are at the tipping point after which demand for automatics might simply explode.

Good for us for a number of reasons though. For one, it might actually bring down mishaps that occur due to untrained people who are easily able to obtain a DL, since they might not be distracted by all the gear shifting involved.

Being witness to 2 accidents and one near miss involving females in the last week alone, I only pray the craze for automatics catches as early as possible, since expecting an improvement in the existing system where any one and his aunty ji can buy a car and start driving, is asking for too much it seems

Last edited by avisidhu : 7th August 2014 at 14:40.
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Old 7th August 2014, 15:53   #17
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

This is always a hot topic to debate. Well, I think no enthusiast would disagree that manual transmission's are the best. I am also of the same opinion. I have driven AT's and paddle shift cars too. Though paddle shift came close to giving the feel, I still believe stick shift is the best pleasure that a car can offer. May be I am biased since I have always been a fan of MT.

The urban population are slowly migrating to AT's. You can clearly see that manufacturers have taken the clue and started bringing in autoboxes.

The high range areas and the steep climbs would see manual transmission excelling.

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Old 7th August 2014, 17:20   #18
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
They are also trying to drive home the 'ease' of using it in traffic. If it were just about the ease though, it would fall flat on its face. But since it's combined with good *FE* people took notice. Whatever it is, if it gets people used to an AT there is no looking back. After being used to an AT, I am sure no one would want to go back to an MT.

With commercial vehicle manufactures, Volvo for ex, also bringing in the Autos for their buses, it seems only natural that ATs will slowly phase out the MTs. The only question is the time frame.
Well said... and contrary to the rather populist view of "kitna deti hai" and cost of the box itself -consider Bangladesh.

99% of the cars are driven by an AMT. And fuel prices are sky high. Yes much higher than what we pay in India.

And yet - people there prefer AMT. Why?
That's because of the stop and go traffic and some of the worst urban traffic jams on the planet.
And it's not regular joes, but also taxi drivers who prefer driving used cars with auto-boxes. 200X and 199X vintage Toyota sedans have flooded the market there and rule the roost.

For an economy on the brink, the conventional wisdom of "kitna deti hai" and cost of AMT would have brought most drivers around to embrace the MT. Isn't it?

But, facts speak otherwise and conventional wisdom seems to have taken a back seat to sheer practicality at least in the case of Bangladesh.
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Old 7th August 2014, 17:44   #19
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

I think the MT will live for a long time, may become clutchless, but is unlikely to die. Even through both my cars are ATs the pleasure of a manual is a class of its own.
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Old 7th August 2014, 18:09   #20
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

Talking of convenience - Yes, autoboxes are more convenient than MTs.

But, traveling to Leh in a flight from the easternmost corner of India is by far more comfortable than by traveling by road . Maybe, more cost effective as well than driving a petrol car the whole distance.
But, there are a few (actually I know a lot) who takes this head on.

So, is it really a question of "Kitna Deti Hai" attitude?

But I really feel ATs should take over, in that way, I will a have a niche skill 10 years down the line.

I know this is an off topic example, but just thought of sharing this.
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Old 7th August 2014, 21:50   #21
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Driving pleasure is about 'feel' and personally, I just don't derive much pleasure from automatics. Sure, AT technology has advanced so much that they're faster & more efficient than ever before. I couldn't care less. Choosing the gear I want, enthusiastically upshifting / downshifting and carefully playing with the clutch pedal remains critical to the overall driving experience for me. Manual is manual, period.
Exactly the point that probably majority of the BHPians would agree to and would have wanted to express. The reason for a majority of the BHPians agreeing to this is that we (BHPians) are automotive enthusiasts and wouldn't look at cars for just commuting from one point to another. Every car does that be it MT or AT.

I think the words "Live to Drive" define BHPians.

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The main reason the manual will remain for the forseeable future is actually cost:- it is substantially cheaper. This becomes very important in low cost cars.
Yes. The Manuals are cheaper as of now and will continue to remain so for some time till the automatics take over the market. This probably will take at least 5-7 years.

But I would disagree that the manuals would still be substantially cheaper than the Automatics about 3-4 years down the line.

I have been to North American region and have interacted with some Americans and Canadians and as a car enthusiast you just can shy away from a discussion on cars. In the US and Canada, if you need a Manual Transmission you need to tell the sales person accordingly and the same will be ordered / custom made for you by majority of the manufacturers. To add to it, the Automatics are cheaper than the Manual Transmission over in the North American Region.

My prediction - 5-7 years from now we will be seeing a lot of Automatic Variants (Just like the number of variants available in Manual) and by 10 years from now the number of Manual variants Vs the Automatics would be completely reverse as that of today.
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Old 7th August 2014, 22:24   #22
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Driving pleasure is about 'feel' and personally, I just don't derive much pleasure from automatics. Sure, AT technology has advanced so much that they're faster & more efficient than ever before. I couldn't care less. Choosing the gear I want, enthusiastically upshifting / downshifting and carefully playing with the clutch pedal remains critical to the overall driving experience for me. Manual is manual, period.
I believe there are a number of threads on the Auto vs Manual debate. Not getting into that here.



Quote:
Wouldn't entirely agree with this. Reason? The low-cost AMT.
The AMT is still essentially a a manual with an addon. For every AMT sold, it also means a manual gearbox was also produced, and sold. Which ensures the commercial viability of the manual production line.
This also means that for every AMT, there will always be an option of a manual which is cheaper. (There is no real additional cost to the car manufacturer. Like stocking, training, logistics etc.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by tejas08 View Post
Yes. The Manuals are cheaper as of now and will continue to remain so for some time till the automatics take over the market. This probably will take at least 5-7 years.

But I would disagree that the manuals would still be substantially cheaper than the Automatics about 3-4 years down the line.

I have been to North American region and have interacted with some Americans and Canadians and as a car enthusiast you just can shy away from a discussion on cars. In the US and Canada, if you need a Manual Transmission you need to tell the sales person accordingly and the same will be ordered / custom made for you by majority of the manufacturers. To add to it, the Automatics are cheaper than the Manual Transmission over in the North American Region.

My prediction - 5-7 years from now we will be seeing a lot of Automatic Variants (Just like the number of variants available in Manual) and by 10 years from now the number of Manual variants Vs the Automatics would be completely reverse as that of today.
My reasoning above.

The N. American market is mature. (ie not as cost driven as an emerging market). It had shifted to an auto a long time back. And the technology of the day meant that the auto was a slushbox. This also meant that the cost of catering to a niche (manual gearbox) was quite high, and in a lot of cases is not really an option.

Incidentally the N. American market (and its associated production infrastructure) is also the reason why the slushbox is also going to be around for quite sometime, irrespective of the young pretenders like DSGs and CVTs. (Also, given the power ranges common in US, the CVT is limited in its application.)

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 8th August 2014, 08:09   #23
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post

My reasoning above.

The N. American market is mature. (ie not as cost driven as an emerging market). It had shifted to an auto a long time back.

Regards
Sutripta
Is European market not just as mature? Why is there still a significant percentage of manuals sold there?

More than maturity, the road infrastructure and traffic conditions in N.America warrants the majority of Autos.

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Old 8th August 2014, 08:35   #24
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I don't think it's got anything to do with maturity. The market you are talking about is more convenience oriented than economy. Like how cars which we enthusiasts fail to appreciate sell like hot cakes here, there also real enthusiasts could be favoring a manual box for sheer driving involvement but the hot seller could still be an auto box when convenience takes higher priority.
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Old 8th August 2014, 08:58   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang View Post
Is European market not just as mature? Why is there still a significant percentage of manuals sold there?



More than maturity, the road infrastructure and traffic conditions in N.America warrants the majority of Autos.

Actually disagree with this statement. An auto box is far more useful in Europe with its numerous small towns with stop and go traffic than in the US with its wide open freeways. So the difference seems to be driven more by what consumers think is "nice to drive", and tax regimes - Europeans seem to value handling, control and fuel efficiency given the extremely high fuel prices there, while Americans care for raw power, a plush ride and convenience, and don't care if an energy sapping auto box forces them to use a V6 or V8 to deliver 4 cylinder performance.

I can understand why enthusiasts preferred manuals 10 years ago - the 3 and 4 speed torque converters prevalent then sapped away 20% or more of the power developed by engines (or at least that's what they felt like). Even today, when I tested the last generation Accord and City, the 5 speed automatic versions were pathetic to drive. But modern DSG boxes (like the DQ 200 in my Superb) or even modern 7/8 speed torque converters (like those in the new BMWs) ensure performance far superior to any manual. In my opinion, buying a manual in such cars is more of a style statement than anything else.

Will Europe shift to auto boxes as these percolate down to mass market offerings, and the price differences reduce? I certainly think so.
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Old 8th August 2014, 09:16   #26
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
The main reason the manual will remain for the forseeable future is actually cost:- it is substantially cheaper. This becomes very important in low cost cars.
Cost of fuel, rather than cost of car, probably determines type of transmission (and type of fuel used) to a larger extent.

India: Fuels are expensive, but diesel fuel is cheaper. So, preference for diesel engines and manual transmissions - though diesel cars are more expensive.

Europe / UK: Fuel is expensive, and diesel in many countries is more expensive than petrol. So manual transmission petrol-powered cars preferred in a lot of cases.

US / Middle East: Manual transmission? What's that?

Australia: Diesel more expensive than petrol, and petrol is a little cheaper than what it costs in India. Hardly any manual transmission cars, and very few diesels.
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Old 8th August 2014, 09:36   #27
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
Actually disagree with this statement. An auto box is far more useful in Europe with its numerous small towns with stop and go traffic than in the US with its wide open freeways.
Interesting take.

Are you thinking only in current context of fuel efficiency and convenience, or generally?

Guess the Europeans have been wrong all these years about what was better suited for their roads.

Having driven hundreds of miles on a daily basis in N. America, I am glad I was wrong and had an Automatic.

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Old 8th August 2014, 10:10   #28
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

On a green light drag race the autobo(x)t will show its tail quickly but when it comes to pulling yourself around tight traffic, zip zapping and flicking I can't really trust it, I am comfortable with manual (especially when I have understood the characteristics of the machine for a good amount of period).
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Old 8th August 2014, 10:44   #29
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

Found a real nice source:

http://www.drivingtesttips.biz/autom...is-better.html

Have a look.

Overall, it still an unending debate whether MTs or ATs.
In the end, its about personal preferences - Convenience or Control (based totally on individual choices)

That said, the story of matured market/ economical state of a particular country is not always relevant, and cannot be set an example for another country with completely different road scenario and traffic conditions.

The choices offered by Motor Companies in a particular country are based on the mass demand there. With ATs offering an option of clutch free (I think that's the main concern for new drivers) vehicles, this may be one of the reasons that demand for ATs is/maybe on the rise here.
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Old 8th August 2014, 11:14   #30
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Default Re: Manual transmission isn't dead yet

Let’s take a more pragmatic view on Manual vs Automatic. How many people in India are ‘enthusiasts’ and care about getting the best performance out of their cars? Very few. If that wasn’t the case, we would never have gotten cars with tiny engines tuned to fuel economy rather than performance. We all agree that India is a cost conscious market.

So, what are the factors - perceived or actual, against automatics?
1. Cost of the auto box itself. Most autos are a premium of at least 70k over their manual counterparts. In fact, I would peg that number at 1.5L.Why? Ever heard of an auto on a base trim? So, one ends up getting the top trim or the top but one trim in some cases for an auto.

2. Cost of fuel: Lets face it. Autos tend to consume more than manual. Yes, AMT and CVTs are changing the equation. In fact, a good CVT may get you better FE than an averagely driven manual. But try flooring the CVT and it suddenly is not so good with FE. In general, modern autos are getting better at FE and may be as good if not better than averagely driven manuals. Now only if manufacturers could stop the step motherly treatment and give us decent autos. Case in point - hyundai. I still do not understand what they are trying to do with the horrid and antiquated 4 speed slush box.

3. Cost of maintenance: It is a perceived thereat that autos do not last too long and will give you a huge maintenance bill. This is the case with most new technology in India. People think that owning an auto is expensive and are dissuaded to buy one.

4. Availability of service centres: Again a perception (and perhaps not entirely false) that finding someone to maintain an auto will be difficult. Especially if you are away from a metro. Imagine a DSG failure in a rural location. Your only bet is a flat bed to tow your car. Best of luck finding a flat-bed too! But then, you are not going to be in a much better situation if your manual box fails either.

5. Lack of awareness: This is actually a huge factor that goes against an auto. People just don’t know how convenient an auto is! You need to have driven around in one to experience what comfort it offers. The more prevalent autos becomes, and more ‘word of mouth’ publicity they get, the more popular they will become.

6. Lack of marketing by Manufacturers and Dealers: This is now changing a bit with maruti and tata marketing the AMT. But try walking into a dealership with a budget of an auto and see if they will suggest you one. Tell VW you a budget of 9L and they will push you a Vento and never even mention about the Polo TSI.
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