A recent Frost & Sullivan report stated that during the period January to March 2016, automatic car sales in India commanded a market share of 10%. This speaks of a new trend in the Indian auto industry. The market share of automatic cars is on the rise.
Like other car makers, Maruti Suzuki India too knew that demand for automatic cars will increase. The solution was to offer AT on more cars. But adding an automatic transmission to their small cars would have made them expensive and less fuel efficient. This is not what they wanted. This led to the birth of AMT – Automated Manual Transmission in India.
In 2014, Maruti Suzuki launched AMT equipped Celerio in the country. This was the first ever AMT car to be on sale in India. Costlier by about INR 30,000 than the standard variant, AMT delivers same fuel efficiency as the manual transmission.
The company has sold over 1 lakh AMT cars till date. Of these, 97,000 units were domestic sales while exports stood at 3,100 units, reveals The Hindu. MSIL offers automatic gear shift (AMT is AGS in Maruti speak) technology on the WagonR, Celerio, DZire and on the Alto K10. AMT sales number stood at 66,000 units for Celerio AGS variant, 18,000 units for Alto K10, 12,000 units for WagonR and 2,200 units of Maruti Suzuki DZire.
While MSIL was the first automaker to introduced AGS technology in India, other automakers soon followed suite. For eg, Tata offered AMT on Zest, Mahindra offered it on their new TUV300 and NuvoSport, Renault offered with Duster, etc. More cars with AMT are in the pipeline as estimates state that by 2020-22, 25-30% of the auto market is expected to see a shift towards AMT variants.