It is no secret that the Celerio has been a runaway success for Maruti Suzuki. Statistics also show that 51% of the Celerio’s sales are accounted for by the variant equipped with the AMT system. This is quite some news to us as, earlier; the Indian market was quite literally obsessed with stick-shifts. But Maruti Suzuki has once again proved to everyone, exactly why they are at the top of the Indian automotive market. They changed the way the masses drive around by pioneering the AMT system.
This keen interest in these AMT systems has triggered another surprising (or expected?) move by Maruti Suzuki. Maruti Suzuki has silently discontinued the production of the automatic variants of the Ritz hatchback and the Dzire sedan. Even though it has not been confirmed by Maruti Suzuki officially, the dealers show no signs of interest to sell the automatic variants, saying that they do not have stock and that they don’t expect it to arrive anytime soon.
After the Celerio AMT variant’s success, there were rumours doing the rounds, that Maruti Suzuki might introduce the AMT into other cars in their portfolio as well. This might have been just a speculation too, but by killing the automatic variants of the Ritz and Dzire, Maruti Suzuki is only adding fuel to the speculations and after all, might really launch the AMT in the Ritz and the Dzire in the near future.
The Ritz and Dzire are already selling very well in their manual transmission guises, and no one can be found complaining, but the addition of the AMT tech to these cars can only multiply their sales figures, as these AMT systems cost very less to produce when compared to the traditional torque-converter automatics, and is more fuel efficient as well and will cost only a small percentage over the manual versions when launched. So, we do not see why there would be no takers for the AMT version, given the added convenience.
Other Manufacturers too want to take advantage of the AMT system by integrating it into their future products. Tata will be using an AMT in the Zest diesel and Nano Twist Active, Mahindra will be using an AMT in the next-gen Quanto, Volkswagen will be using AMT’s in the next-gen POlo and Vento and Fiat will be using their subsidiary, Magneti-Marelli’s expertise in the field of transmission systems to help integrate an AMT in the Punto and Linea.
Also see – 2014: The AMT gearbox year