2014 seems to be the year of Automated Manual Transmission (AMT). Maruti Suzuki started the party by launching the Celerio AMT, which has been a run away success. It was soon joined in by Mahindra, who showcased an AMT on the Quanto, and also noted that its future cars will get the same too. Tata Motors could not stay far behind as well and announced that its Nano, Bolt and Zest will find their engines mated to an AMT. Japanese automaker Nissan has now joined the AMT party, and is developing a low cost AMT to be used in its budget cars.
Nissan’s low cost AMT will be used on its mass market cars in India such as the Micra, Sunny and Terrano. The Micra and Sunny come with a Xtronic CVT gearbox, which costs quite a bit when compared with the automated manual transmission. By offering an AMT option on its cars, Nissan will be able to lower prices of its automatic cars and attract more buyers.
“We will take one of our existing manual gearboxes and develop an AMT module for it. This is an easy task and will be economically more viable,” said Takashi Hata, Senior Vice President, India. The AMT setup works out to be viable for the manufacturers as well as the customers.
You get the convenience of an automatic (and its a boon for city driving) and the fuel efficiency of a manual gearbox at a price which is less than half of an automatic gearbox. For instance, Celerio’s AMT variants are priced just Rs 40,000 more than the manual ones.
The AMT from Nissan might find its way to the Datsun cars too in future. Needless to say, we might see the same unit in a bunch of Renault and Dacia cars in the future as Nissan and Renault are a joint car making alliance. Gauging by how popular AMT equipped cars are becoming in India, the manual transmission may soon be on its way out as India hops on to the AMT revolution.