Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio hatchback, launched earlier this year in February has become the first AMT (Automatic Manual Transmission) equipped car launched in India with waiting period going upto 5-6 months. After the success and high demand of Celerio, more companies are now introducing AMT equipped cars in India. Following this technology, Tata has come up with Zest AMT compact sedan (first diesel car with this technology) and Maruti has launched its second product-the new Alto K10 featuring AMT. Tata is also working on AMT version of nano which will be the most affordable AMT equipped car in India.
What is AMT?
AMT is based on an electro-hydraulic system (a combination of hydraulic mechanism and Electronic control unit) that supervise the use of the clutch and the gear shifting, without using the clutch, it allows the driver to change gear , either sequentially or fully automatically. The driver will just have to worry about when to start and stop. AMT is not a clutch less system, it contains clutch but clutch pedal is absent. Car manufacturers prefer AMT because they don’t need to replace manual transmission and just install an ad-on hydraulic kit.
Also Read: What Is AMT And How Does It Work?
Magneti Marelli (Fiat Group-owned automotive component manufacturer) and Maruti Suzuki have signed a joint venture to manufacture AMT systems. Currently these kits are manufactured in Italy and imported as CBU (Completely Build unit). The demand of the kits is so huge that there is a supply deficit in AMT kits. Magneti Marelli has set up a plant in Manesar, Haryana to balance the huge demand and short supply of the units. As of now, just 1-2 percent of cars in India are equipped with Amt but till 2020, AMT cars in India are expected to gain 30 percent of market share. AMT will be offered in more of the entry level cars.
Cost for the car manufacturers will not be much as they will be giving an option on the existing transmission rather than working on the manual transmission. There is a difference of about Rs. 40,000-50,000 in the cost of AMT cars and manual cars.
Future of AMT cars in India
The first thing that comes to the mind of Indian customers while buying a vehicle is the fuel efficiency. AMT cars are more cheaper and fuel efficient than conventional automatic cars and provide better acceleration. The driving experience also becomes easier and less hectic as the driver does not have to worry pressing the clutch again and again. These cars will be a great hit among the women drivers as they need not worry about the synchronization of the clutch and gears.