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Maruti plans to widen auto gear shift portfolio

Maruti to spend Rs 15,000 cr to double sales infra in 5 years Buoyed by sale of over 1 lakh vehicles equipped with auto gear shift, Maruti Suzuki India plans to offer this technologies in more models sold in the domestic market.

"Overall, the objective is to expand the two-pedal technologies that bring comfort and ease of driving to the customers," Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Executive Director R&D, C V Raman told PTI.

Two-pedal technologies like AGS (auto gear shift), CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and AT (automatic transmission) help in doing away with the need for gear shift manually by the driver via different mechanisms.

"Currently, we have four models with AGS technology. We plan to introduce two-pedal technologies like AGS, CVT and AT in other models too," he said without disclosing the number of additional models that MSI would equip with such technology.

Reflecting on how the AGS technology has been accepted in the market, Raman said: "We introduced AGS technology in our cars one and half years back. Today, we have crossed one lakh units in cumulative sales."

"Going forward, Maruti Suzuki's endeavour is to bring one of the two-pedal technologies to its models, across segments in some form either AGS, CVT or AT," Raman added.

The company's effort will be to 'democratise' these technologies so that more people are able to benefit from these (technologies), he added.

In February 2014, MSI introduced AGS with hatchback Celerio, making it the first ever vehicle equipped with the technology in the country. Till date Celerio AMT vehicles contribute over 60 per cent to total Celerio sales.

Following Celerio, MSI added more models to this portfolio - Alto K10, WagonR and Stingray and DZire, which is first diesel-engine model from the Maruti Suzuki stable to be equipped with AGS technology.

Later, the company also introduced CVT and AT technologies in higher segment. CVT was introduced in premium compact Baleno while AT (automatic transmission) was added to Ciaz and Ertiga.

The company has sold 18,000 units of Alto K-10, 12,000 units of Wagon R, about 66,000 units of Celerio, 200 units of Dzire and has also exported around 3,100 units.

When asked if the company is looking to upgrade the AGS to more advanced ones, he said that the same technology would continue for the next 3-4 years and the firm would also have to look at factors like fuel consumption and cost before going for new technology upgrade.

"Based on the feedback on current models, technology progression will happen but various factors like fuel consumption, cost of ownership etc need to be analysed," Raman said.

MSI has a capacity to locally assemble around 1.2 lakh AGS equipped units per annum.