Hyundai has hinted that it is planning to launch an automatic transmission in the Creta petrol and the Elite i20. While the Creta already gets an optional 6-speed automatic gearbox with the 1.6-litre diesel, the Elite i20 is offered with manual transmission only.
“There is an open space for introducing an automatic transmission in petrol in the Creta. We have got strong inputs from our dealer partners and there are considerable enquiries for a petrol automatic,” said a Hyundai spokesperson. However, he made it clear that the company is not looking to deploy AMT in its cars and will continue using the two gearbox options – manual and fully-automatic. The company expects the Creta’s sales to rise by 30 per cent with the launch of the automatic gearbox in its petrol trims. He also stated that the carmaker might introduce the Elite i20 petrol in automatic.
The announcement comes at a time when automatic transmissions have become immensely popular with customers. Some cars – such as the TUV300 – have even observed half of their total sales being claimed by the automatic variants, since they ensure a hassle-free driving experience. This is why carmakers have started offering it even in their entry-level hatchbacks.
The Creta has proved to be a huge success for Hyundai. The compact SUV has been sold in massive numbers (over 1 lakh bookings), will be exported to over 92 countries, and has also won the Indian Car of the Year award for 2016. The Elite i20, on the other hand, was going strong till the Baleno was launched. The premium hatchback from the Maruti proved to be a hurdle for Hyundai’s product which eventually lost almost 14 per cent of sales (in January 2016 as compared to January 2015) to it.
The Creta has the likes of the S Cross, the Duster and the recently launched Brezza as its rivals. Its diesel automatic comes at a price of Rs. 15.1 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and the automatic petrol is likely to cost at least two lakhs less (i.e. Rs. 13.1 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai).