“In the pre-owned market, the price difference between manual and automatic transmission is not as big as in new vehicles. Hence people have a higher preference for automatic transmission from the point of value and sheer convenience. The demand in the mid and high segment is more for automatic, whereas in the lower segment there is an equal preference for manual,” said Droom founder-CEO Sandeep Aggarwal.
The demand for automatic is split 50:50 between metro and non-metro markets. Cities like Jaipur, Indore, Coimbatore, Mangalore and Ahmedabad and Warangal are big automatic transmission markets alongside Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
“The demand is across metros as well as tier-1 and -2 cities, and is pronounced in sedans in the lakh price range. For SUVs though, demand remains strong in manual transmission, largely due to limited availability of automatic transmission vehicles available for exchange or sale by customers,” said Ashutosh Pandey, CEO, Mahindra First Choice Wheels, which has seen 25% of its sales go to automatic cars.
The price differential between new and old automatic models is 30-40%, depending on age of the vehicle. Already online used car retailers are betting big on this segment. “We buy 10% automatic cars and this has grown year-on-year. In the coming years, we expect a double-digit growth from automatic used cars,” said Kunal Mundra, CEO (cars India) at Cars24.