The Indian market highly relies on manual gearboxes
ICRA expects at least 15% cars on Indian roads to get automatic transmission by the end of 2020. The Indian market is highly price sensitive. Therefore the automakers offer manual transmission mainly to keep the price reduced. The automatic gearboxes are becoming popular with every passing year though. But the Indian market still highly relies on manual transmission. Also the automatic transmissions generally come in premium cars only.
While manual transmissions offer better fuel economy and help in keeping the overall pricing to stay less. The automatic transmissions on the other hand offer less fuel economy. Automatic transmissions are also expensive for maintenance. Apart from that, the automatic cars come pricier compared to the manual cars.
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Indian roads are notoriously known for the high density traffic conditions. In such a scenario automatic transmissions can become much more effective than the manual ones. The automatic gearboxes reduce the driving effort by eliminating the usage of clutch pedal. Therefore it saves the driver’s energy in bumper to bumper traffic situations as well.
Interestingly, in Indian market several auto manufacturers are offering semi automatic transmission options now a days. These options include Continually Variable Transmission or CVT, Automated Manual Transmission or AMT etc. These gear shifting technologies come much cheaper compare to a fully automatic transmission system. They also save fuel like the manual transmissions do. Also these technologies save the driver from pressing clutch and shifting gears continuously in heavy traffic situations.
Several leading auto majors like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors are coming up with these semi automatic solutions. Presently, the automatic transmission equipped vehicles occupy only 5% of the Indian domestic market. And a large chunk of these cars are luxury cars, which is away from the reach of common people. But with the growing AT cars the ICRA expects the percentage will reach up to 15% by the end of this decade.