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Old 10th February 2020, 11:22   #16
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

Give credit to where it is due. Maruti understand the Indian customers very well and brought the AMT in India. Till then, the ATs were costlier by Rs 1L, and was giving very low mileage. With the introduction of AMTs, this scenario changed drastically. The following also helped in this AT revolution:

i. Ultra-congested city traffic
ii. Increased number of women drivers

Last edited by romeomidhun : 10th February 2020 at 11:29.
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Old 10th February 2020, 12:13   #17
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

How times have changed!

Back in 2011, when we were looking for an automatic hatchback, Maruti Suzuki had only three options- The A-Star, Ritz and the Swift DZire, all equipped with the same 4-speed torque converter. And it took them more than 2 months to ship the transmission to India for our A-Star! And we all know how manufacturers refused to offer top variants with automatics, whose variants were seriously lacking in safety features among others.

Eight years later, pretty much every car in Maruti Suzuki's stable has an option of an AMT, CVT(Baleno), or the torque converter (Ciaz, Ertiga). The mass market has welcomed the automatic transmission with open arms! Even in the slightly upper segments, the lack of an automatic transmission has deeply hurt the sales of the Tata Harrier.

Maruti Suzuki, with the Celerio, showed how automatics can be as fuel efficient as a manual (the single biggest demerit of the torque converter was the F.E). For the mass market, that's all mattered! A 10 lakh rupee hatchback with an expensive transmission would've bombed in 2009, but with the relatively positive response for the Polo GT, shows how times have changed! With the Santo and i10 NIOS, AMT has improved significantly, providing smoother driving experience. Sure, manual transmission still prevails in terms of sales, but ATs are an now option that cannot be simply ignored by the manufacturers.

Bad news for the enthusiast indeed, with luxury manufacturers slowly killing off stick shift altogether, but with the advent of fast shifting DSGs and fast accelerating EVs, they should be worried little.
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Old 10th February 2020, 12:29   #18
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

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Originally Posted by vkumars View Post
Problem was on frequent stop-starts on slopes. I used to brake, shift to N from D (to prevent clutch burnout) and apply hand brake.
True, AMTs are at a bit of disadvantage against other forms of ATs in slopes and the creep is best left for level roads/gentel slopes.
But whenever I encounter start-stop on slopes in my Alto AMT (mostly in office/apartment/mall MLCPs), I switch to manual and stick to 1st gear. Found that helps immensely, I didn't have to use hand-brake. Bangalore has some malls and shops where the ramp angle is really steep and I've found that the AMT manual mode really helps there.
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Old 10th February 2020, 13:28   #19
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

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Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
And yet, most manufacturers do not offer AT option on base models and with diesel engines. Usually, AT is offered on mid OR (not 'and') top variant. I don't know why manufacturers spend crores on developing a product, but not look at what the consumer actually wants.

Kia Seltos (CVT/TC/DCT on petrol/diesel) has AT option at different price points, but I don't think they have base automatic models.
Yaris is probably the only car to have offered AT option across all variants. I love Fortuner offering as well, you can get AT/MT in 4X4 and 4X2 combination as well.
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Old 10th February 2020, 14:28   #20
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

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Originally Posted by GipsyDanger View Post
How times have changed!

Back in 2011, when we were looking for an automatic hatchback, Maruti Suzuki had only three options- The A-Star, Ritz and the Swift DZire, all equipped with the same 4-speed torque converter.
Dzire is a hatchback?
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Old 10th February 2020, 14:49   #21
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

AMT is a boon and bane at the same time. Boon because it brought the trend to buy an automatic in urban population, in the same time it made all manufacturer become greedy or lazy to develop a proper auto transmission - example, now some 12-15 lakhs car offers AMT, like Nexon, XUV 3OO etc.

Then in one hand, for below 10 lakhs market, AMT could able to kept the price in check, but in same time it puts those cars in problem that has a proper automatic and cannot be cheaper hence making those car a flop in price sensitive market, making manufacturers to hesitate to bring such cars or cutting corners in other aspect to keep the price in check. A cycle that is keeping enthusiasts or any interested person from getting a good car - an automatic with all features and safety.

Last edited by dipdawiz : 10th February 2020 at 14:59.
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Old 10th February 2020, 14:56   #22
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

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Originally Posted by Driving80kph View Post
Dzire is a hatchback?
I'll apologize if it wasn't clear, but I was referring to the automatic cars by MSIL on sale at that time. We were looking for a hatchback,yeah. I was talking about automatics in general, just to be clear.

On a different note, Maruti Suzuki should up their antes when it comes to higher segments. Yes, their AMTs are getting good, but it's no good for those willing to spend close to a million rupees or above, for a car. Get that CVT going into the Vitara Brezza, Ertiga and Ciaz. In the face of competition, that 4 speed slushbox honestly looks embarrassing.
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Old 10th February 2020, 20:36   #23
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

I owned only petrol manual cars for 16 years. Whenever I drove automatic cars abroad, I felt they aren't suited to Indian driving conditions due to constant braking and moving, I didn't believe AT box can take that kind of abuse. Also, back in India, there weren't good AT options is mass-market segments a few years ago. With the advent of AMTs, the dynamics of transmission changed forever - without a big compromise on fuel efficiency, people could enjoy the hassle-free driving in the mad traffic of our megacities.

Also, technology has evolved over the years the very competent transmissions are now available at affordable rates. We now have, all types of AT cars on sale in India - AMT, CVT, TC, DCT. Scooters have moved 100% to CVT. Only motorbikes are having manual gears now.

My current car is Torque Converter AT mated with a 1.6 CRDI. It is a modern 6-speed unit with manual mode. TC is my favorite AT technology. I couldn't appreciate AT much on test drives. So, many times I test drove AT cars and went for manual. But once I bought an AT car and drove it for 3-4 days, I understood, what a brilliant piece of engineering it is. You need some time to get adjusted to driving an AT. Basically, the way you must control the throttle is different from manuals. My left leg thanks me after every drive. Contrary to my earlier belief, even highway drives are so much fun (Caution: Not all AT boxes are the same, some are more fun than others). Now, I think I should've migrated to AT much sooner.

It is quite obvious that AT car sales are growing faster. Also, once someone moves from MT to AT, they cannot go back to MT - Just like scooters. So, to all MT enthusiasts, a word of caution. If you love manuals, don't drive AT for too long, it will change your mind. But for guys who are not fans of manuals but are wary of ATs because of costs (buying, maintaining and extra fuel), I will encourage them to go for AT. The cost offset is nothing when compared to the convenience it offers.

The only gripe I have is, even if we reach a stage, where more than 50% cars will be some form of AT, carmakers will milk more money on account of AT. They will not pass on the benefit of "economies to scale". All car buyers must get prepared to pay 1-2 lacs premium even after AT becomes mainstream.

Not all ATs are the same, there are many types of ATs available for different needs. My post on Automatic Transmission Technology Comparison (Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?)
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Old 10th February 2020, 22:20   #24
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

Stick is going to go away within the next decade - either due to AMT/AT/DCT etc or due to onslaught of EVs.
What intrigues me rather is why has the commercial segment not lapped up on this trend yet. Cab drivers are on the road for 6-8 hours everyday and need this more than someone like me. Despite that, I donít remember seeing a single cab with AMT or similar. On the contrary, I have already seen a couple of EV cabs.
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Old 10th February 2020, 22:57   #25
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

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Originally Posted by warrioraks View Post
Stick is going to go away within the next decade - either due to AMT/AT/DCT etc or due to onslaught of EVs.
What intrigues me rather is why has the commercial segment not lapped up on this trend yet. Cab drivers are on the road for 6-8 hours everyday and need this more than someone like me. Despite that, I donít remember seeing a single cab with AMT or similar. On the contrary, I have already seen a couple of EV cabs.
The reason for it is rather simple, generally people assume the Automatics to be less fuel efficient & more expensive to maintain when compared to manuals. Furthermore, a cab is driven by several drivers and a lot aren't just used to driving Automatics which has built in a fear regarding the same. Also, cabs are generally diesel or CNG and not much options are available for the same in the budget segment except Dzire AMT.
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Old 10th February 2020, 23:11   #26
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

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Originally Posted by manjunathkl View Post

You need some time to get adjusted to driving an AT. Basically, the way you must control the throttle is different from manuals. My left leg thanks me after every drive. Contrary to my earlier belief, even highway drives are so much fun (Caution: Not all AT boxes are the same, some are more fun than others). Now, I think I should've migrated to AT much sooner.

Well said. You don't convert to AT by just driving around the block or renting out a zoom car for the weekend. When I bought my first AT car in 2011, I wasn't happy for about a week. It felt so vastly different, I was wondering if it was a good decision to buy AT. But....3-4 months into it and I was a permanent convert. Now, I walk away from any car which has 3 pedals on the floor.

Many a time people drive underpowered AT cars, come back and say AT sucks. Don't blame the automatic transmission. Blame the engine. If the car you drive has a tiny puny gutless engine (we see mostly on petrol hatchbacks), why would it not suck. If the engine is weak, you can fit DSG and it will still crawl. Power source is engine. Not transmission. Transmission only conveys the power made by the engine to the wheels.
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Old 11th February 2020, 06:32   #27
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

The news is not surprising, considering how much our urban and semi-urban traffic has increased over the last decade. Previously, I was a manual purist, when I moved back to India, I got myself a large manual SUV and a small CVT auto hatchback for the wife and for city duties. After driving around on congested Kerala roads, other than the fleeting moments of enjoying the manual on the highways for around 10% of the time, the rest of the time was spent loathing the heavy left leg. So, when it came to changing my SUV, I had no hesitation in going for a TC automatic SUV. I must say, that was the best decision I made. Now driving in urban commute traffic is a breeze and even highway rides are enjoyable.

I really do not understand why the CVT gets so much flak. Its an absolutely nippy and superb gearbox, if one knows how to use it well.

I can only see the percentage of automatic cars increasing in the near future. We are possibly staring at the last decade of manual ICE vehicles.

Cheerio!
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Old 11th February 2020, 15:23   #28
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

I wish people at TATA motors see, read and take these statistics to their head and offer AT's as standard on the launch of the vehicle.

Also, is it so that women drivers prefer AT's for easy driving without clutch? I'm hunting for a second car myself and want nothing but AT, because I want my wife too to use the car.
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Old 12th February 2020, 09:39   #29
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

Give credit to Maruti for making the ATs popular in mass market cars with AMTs, starting in early 2014. We got our first AT, a Celerio AMT at that time. I would say that it is just manageable, it lurches at times and scares you. I realized the convenience factor and got the next car also in AT(CVT) and the latest one also is AT(9 speed TC). Maruti AMTs have improved a lot and when I drive my dad's Dzire I can see the improvement(read jerkiness) that has come from the first model to now, it is still lazy though.
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Old 12th February 2020, 10:03   #30
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Default Re: Sales of automatics grew from 1.4% in 2011 to 17.3% in 2019

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Originally Posted by .HEM View Post
I wish people at TATA motors see, read and take these statistics to their head and offer AT's as standard on the launch of the vehicle.

Also, is it so that women drivers prefer AT's for easy driving without clutch? I'm hunting for a second car myself and want nothing but AT, because I want my wife too to use the car.
On an Instagram conversation, Mr Bose mentioned to me that the sale of automatics is just 8% or something so it doesn't matter. God knows which data he is referring to. I replied to him stating that his number might be wrong and plus people in cities no more want a manual and torture themselves in ever increasing traffic. A few mins later his comments were deleted from the post. I only laughed. I so much want to buy a xza Nexon that fits my budget. But I can't coz they don't have that variant. I'll mostly be buying the Brezza automatic.
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