Maruti Suzuki India expects sales of its vehicles with automatic shifting to pick up further next year as traffic congestion in India’s cities intensifies, said Shashank Srivastava, senior executive, marketing and sales.
The company first introduced Automatic Gear Shift (AGS) technology on its hatchback Celerio in 2013-14, allowing drivers to shift gears manually without using the clutch. To date, it has sold a cumulative 774,000 such vehicles across its portfolio.
“After we introduced AGS, we slowly expanded it in many of our models. We really believe that with the increase in traffic congestion, especially in urban areas, AGS further improves the convenience of driving. So we believe in technology It will even accelerate the development further,” Srivastava said.
Nine of the company’s models — Celerio, Alto K10, WagonR, Dzire, Ignis, Swift, Brezza, S-Presso and Baleno — are equipped with the AGS option.
In terms of AGS penetration, he said, “it varies between 12% and 23% for different models” and that sales “varies with the timing of the launch” between models.
Celerio cumulatively sold 200,000 AGS units, followed by WagonR with 139,000 units, Swift with 124,000 units, Dzire with 101,000 units, Alto K10 with 68,000 units, Ignis with 49,000 units, Brezza with 39,000 units, S-Presso with 37,000 units and Baleno with 20,000 units.
Regarding the increasing acceptance of AGS technology, Srivastava said that this is mainly due to the affordability factor.He gives the example of an entry-level SUV where the price difference between a regular transmission and AGS is about ¥50,000 results in an AFM penetration rate of about 19%.
On the other hand, for vehicles of the same type with Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) technology, the price difference ends ¥120,000 leads to a low penetration of automatic transmission options of only about 2%.
“Sales of AGS vehicles will also accelerate as people now want easier driving,” Srivastava said, “just like what happened with power steering, which has a premium, and people take some time to switch from manual steering Pay a premium, but now it’s all about power steering”.