Maruti Suzuki was the first Indian manufacturer to pioneer the AMT (Automatic Manual Transmission) gearbox technology in India. After this technology was launched in the Maruti Suzuki Celerio and even though the car was available in manual form too, a majority of the sales accounted for were from the variants equipped with the AMT gearboxes. This created a furore within the Indian automotive industry and resulted with more and more manufacturers promising to launch variants of their cars equipped with the AMT gearboxes and some of them have gone as far as announcing new models specially to launch AMT technology in their product portfolio.
An AMT gearbox is very similar to a proper manual gearbox, except that instead of the driver putting effort into shifting the gears manually, all the driver has to do is, push or pull the gear lever which in turn sends electrical signals to a robotic system in the gearbox which shifts the gears. Since it is so similar to a manual gearbox and since a majority of the components are shared with a manual gearbox, it is much more cheaper to manufacture when compared to a conventional torque converter automatic gearbox; is more fuel efficient and is easier to maintain as well, giving enough reason for the AMT craze sweeping across the auto industry right now.
Volkswagen had earlier announced that they would be launching the Polo and the Vento with AMT gearboxes; Mahindra had announced that the next-gen Quanto would come with an AMT gearbox, and now Tata has announced their plans for this technology.
Ankush Arora, senior VP at Tata’s commercial passenger vehicle unit has revealed that ‘Tata will be launching the first affordable, diesel AMT car in the country. Yes, the affordable car bug has bitten the boffins at Tata motors again, after launching the most affordable car with the Nano (which did not sell as well as it was expected to) Tata now plans to be the pioneer in the diesel AMT car segment by launching the FIRST affordable diesel AMT car in the country, and we have absolutely no doubt that they will be successful in doing so’. But the question is, will it be a replay of the Nano story or will they something really good this time around?
The future plan for Tata’s cars include a lot of technology, combined with affordability, technologies which will be integrated into the car other than the AMT gearboxes are in-car-connectivity systems which include car-mobile phone interfaces sourced from Harman. These technologies could be used as USP’s to promote these affordable cars.
Also see – 2014: THE AMT GEARBOX YEAR
Source – Economic Times