In a bid to capture the growing demand for automatic cars, Maruti Suzuki will start offering automatic gearboxes across their entire product range.
Few years back, mass market vehicle buyers in India always used to stay away from automatic vehicles for various reasons like lower fuel efficiency, higher upfront premium as compared to manual variants and even due to possibly higher maintenance costs. But trends have changed a lot when we directly compare the scenario five years back to the present day scene in the Indian auto market.
Our roads are getting thousands of new cars everyday while the condition of the roads itself is just worsening. With so many people out on the road, there is bound to be a lot of traffic and it gets really annoying for people who drive their cars on a regular basis, especially for long distances. Due to this, people started realising the need and the usefulness of an automatic vehicle and suddenly demand for automatic cars surged through the roof.
Maruti started offering the Celerio and Alto K10 with an AMT gearbox which is actually a semi-automatic gearbox and yet it offers the convenience of a conventional automatic gearbox. While a normal automatic transmission commands a premium of Rs. 70,000/- to Rs. 1 lakh, an AMT box costs only Rs. 25,000-45,000/- which is much more value-for-money especially when you consider the cost sensitive buyers in the mass-market segments.
Maruti Suzuki currently offers the Alto K10, Celerio, Wagon R, Swift DZire, Baleno and Ciaz with an automatic gearbox. The Ciaz and the Baleno get a conventional automatic transmission because they are positioned as premium products. The company is looking to tap into the market and offer automatic transmission on other models like the Swift and S-Cross. The Swift is a hot-selling hatchback and the company feels that sales will go further higher with the launch of the automatic trims.