Maruti Suzuki, India's largest automaker is also India's largest seller of automatic cars. With the likes of popular models like the new Swift, Dzire and even the sub-compact Vitara Brezza SUV getting an automated manual transmission or AMT unit, urban buyers are lapping them up by the thousands. In figures shared exclusively with NDTV carandbike, Maruti Suzuki has revealed that since the introduction of AMT, or as Maruti Suzuki calls is - AGS (Auto Gear Shift), the automaker has sold 3.6 lakh cars in India with this gearbox. In comparison, sales of the CVT or standard torque convertor automatic on the likes of the Baleno and the Ciaz are said to be less than 10 per cent of the AMT's overall sales. AMT cars contribute to nearly 20 percent of all sales for Maruti Suzuki - for the models that offer the option of course. The AMT technology is available on both petrol and diesel models
The automaker plans to increase AMT penetration, especially into urban markets to an all time high this financial year with a target of 2 lakh units. The AMT technology was first made available on the Maruti Suzuki Celerio back in 2014 and is now available in 7 models across the board. These cars include the Alto K10, Wagon R, Ignis, new Swift, Dzire and of course, the Vitara Brezza sub compact SUV.
The success of the AMT unit can be mainly attributed to two factors, 1) affordability of the variant that has an AMT gearbox and 2) fuel economy figures that are identical or in some cases, slightly more than the manual gearbox option. The price point for an AMT gearbox equipped car is lower than that of a CVT, torque convertor or even DSG car as essentially the same manual gearbox hardware is used with an addon electronic shifter mounted on top. The shifter is then controlled - usually by wire by a shift lever or shift knob (in the case of the Renault Kwid).