Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) is all the rage these days and several Indian automakers are ready to jump into bandwagon in the near future. But Maruti Suzuki already has the first movers advantage with the Celerio AMT.
The Celerio AMT has proved extremely successful, even more so than what Maruti expected, with waiting periods extending up to 6 months. While Maruti only expected about 35 percent of Celerio sales to come from AMT the reality turned out far sweeter, with AMT variant accounting to 51 percent Celerio sales.
It is then no surprise that Maruti wants to soon introduce AMT to its best selling car, the Alto K10. The Alto is the best selling car not just in India, but even in the world. However, number of Alto hatchbacks sold has gone down by 3 percent.
Introduction of Alto automatic could dramatically improve the popularity of the hatchback, which already sells incredibly well. In fact, Maruti is also said have speeded up the process of bringing AMT to several of its models, the WagonR being next in line.
The WagonR AMT will be launched in 2015 and so will other popular models from Maruti's stable such as the Swift. The company's premium model, the Ciaz, on the other hand, will not get the low cost manual automatic gearbox, but will instead get CVT automatic, according to FE.
Maruti Celerio is currently the most affordable automatic car in India with a starting price of a little over INR 4 lakhs and Alto AMT will take that title once its launched. But the competition is stiff as Tata Nano AMT is also ready to enter the fray.
Maruti has introduced the AMT at the right juncture when competition is only going to get tougher with the launch of Datsun GO and other upcoming small cars including one from Honda. AMT will be the key to Maruti's success and intends to maintain its 40 percent share in the Indian market.