There was a time when owning an automatic car was seen as a symbol of exuberance and fat bank balance. First of all the car would be expensive, then the high maintenance costs apart from its low fuel efficiency which translated to higher fuel bills.
However, with the advent of new and improved technologies, things are changing and automatic cars are getting more fuel efficient as well as affordable. People are also turning to automatics and it is believed that automatic cars will form a significant chunk of sales within a few years from now.
Now, in an interesting development, N Raja, Senior Vice President of Toyota India has confirmed that the company will be launching automatic versions of its Etios sedan and Etios Liva hatchback within the next 8-10 months in India, according to a report on Economic Times.
Toyota already provides automatic transmission options in its higher end cars. The Camry in India only has an automatic transmission while the Corolla and the Fortuner see about 40 percent of their sales from automatics. There is no word if the Etios twins will get AMT gearboxes or proper automatics, but this will definitely give an option to buyers in bigger cities who are contemplating buying a small automatic car.
Currently you have options like i20, Micra, Brio etc in the automatic small car segment and with the addition of Etios twins your options will get broadened. It is expected that the company will plonk automatic gearboxes on the petrol engines of these cars, however, if Toyota wants to do something different, they can offer them on the diesel counterparts to gain more eyeballs.