Car makers change gears to drive up market share

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With these new launches that addresses the issue of fuel efficiency, companies expect AT sales to grow further. Reuters With these new launches that addresses the issue of fuel efficiency, companies expect AT sales to grow further. Reuters
SummaryFirms are deploying advanced AT systems to improve ease of driving.

would be deployed in a small car.

With these new launches that addresses the issue of fuel efficiency, companies expect AT sales to grow further. “The reason behind lower sales of AT is that consumers do not want to pay extra and then buy a lesser fuel-efficient cars. We have tried to address that issue with the new continuous variable transmission, which gives more mileage than a manual transmission. We expect the demand for ATs to pick further with this,” Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president (Sales and Marketing) at Honda Cars India told The Indian Express.

Unlike developed markets such as the US and Europe, where 90 per cent of the cars are automatic, the technology in India has been largely restricted to just high-end sedans. The demand for automatics in India has picked up in the last couple of years, with buyers of small and mid-size cars beginning to opt for automatic variants. Automobile companies have responded by nearly doubling the number of automatic models being made available in the country over the past four years.

Analysts feel that the automatic segment is going to grow in the near future. “With the worsening traffic conditions on Indian roads, the consumers are looking for comfort in driving and the companies are going to launch more automatic versions and segment is likely to grow by 5 per cent in the next five years from 1 per cent of total sales currently,” said Puneet Gupta, Principal Analyst (Automobile) at IHS, a consultancy firm.

New Tech

* Honda has launched a new Automatic Transmission technology in the latest model of its City sedan that it claims as a breakthrough

* Maruti is in advanced stages of launching its own new Automatic Manual Transmission technology, which reportedly uses manual shift patterns at the gear lever

* Volkswagen is developing 7-speed dual-clutch technology which may improve efficiency

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