Toyota is planning to offer automatic transmission variants on the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback by the 2015 festive season.
Looking at the current trend, where customers are more open to an automatic transmission such as the Celerio AMT, Tata Zest AMT etc., Toyota seems to find some potential for their Etios twins as well.
Automatic transmissions are now delivering fuel efficiency numbers very close to the manual transmission variants and even the price difference between the two gearbox variants are coming down. There is no clarity yet if Toyota will plonk in a conventional torque converter automatic transmission, CVT or an AMT in the Etios Twins.
But apart from the convenience of automatics, Toyota needs to offer much more with the Etios twins so that they sell well, first being quality. The products have failed to make an impact in their respective segments and even Toyota had openly accepted defeat in the sub-10 lakh rupee segment.
Will an automatic transmission change fortunes for Toyota? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile the company has also started discussions with Daihatsu to develop a low cost, A segment hatchback for India.
Source – ET Auto