Automatic transmission is the new obsession in town. Top auto companies such as Hyundai, Honda, Maruti Suzuki, Audi, Volkswagen are seeing an increased demand for such vehicles and every sixth car sold in the Indian auto markets are single shift transmission vehicles.
Automatic transmission cars are credited with being easier to drive and with faster acceleration which has caught the attention of customers. Besides smaller cars even buyers of more luxury sedans and SUVs are choosing automatic transmission vehicles over the traditional manual types.
Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest auto company pioneered this concept in India back in 1987 with the launch of automatic M800 while it later brought out the automatic Zen in 1996 and more recently the compact Dzire all with automatic transmission.
Mr Jnaneshwar Sen, Marketing & Sales, Head, Honda India, said, “The congested city roads and urban traffic warrant automatic cars. Rising traffic density and stop-and-go commuting on Indian roads result in stressful driving. Automatic transmission is improvising the Indian driver to tackle the fast changing driving conditions, where a clutchless single shift gear option helps in smooth drive.”
Just over 2 years back, of the total number of cars sold in India, only 2% were with Automatic Transmission, now their share has risen to 12%-14%. Compared to cars with manual transmission, cars with automatic transmission are not only better performance wise, but also reduce the overall wear and tear of the car in the long run.
A Delhi based VW dealer says, “The manual Jetta is almost 2 lakh cheaper than the automatic. But almost 65% of the Jettas that we sell are with the single shift gear. The automatic is fully loaded with higher features and specs like special upholstery, touchscreen music etc that increase its value package.”