The instant success of automated manual transmission (AMT) with Maruti Suzuki's Celerio hatchback and Tata Motors Zest compact sedan has made at least a couple of new suppliers to seriously consider the Indian market, where every second car sold by 2020 is expected to have some kind of clutch-less systems.
Germany's Robert Bosch, the world's largest auto component maker, and UKbased Drive System Design are working out several options to bring affordable drive systems into the Indian market. Automated manual transmission is a clutch-less technology that is cheaper but more fuel-efficient than conventional automatic systems.
While vehicles with clutch-less transmission are more convenient to drive, especially on India's congested roads, the high price of automatic vehicles, 20-35% more than those with manual transmission, has made India's cost-conscious auto buyers stay away.
The AMT technology has brought down the price difference to just 5-10%. Maruti's Celerio was the first vehicle to bring the AMT technology to India, in February 2014. Italian component maker Magneti Marelli, a part of Fiat, is at present the sole supplier of AMT systems in India.