India's largest car maker Maruti Suzuki that pioneered the automatic manual transmission technology in India, on Wednesday, introduced the technology in its best selling compact sports utility vehicle Vitara Brezza. Available only in the four diesel variants of the vehicle, the auto gear shift versions are priced at Rs 8.54-10.49 lakh (ex showroom Delhi).
Maruti had first introduced the auto gear shift technology in its small car Celerio during Auto Expo 2014. The popularity of the variants, which are less sophisticated and fun to drive than a conventional automatic transmission but cost a fraction of them without any loss in fuel economy, has prompted the company to launch it in a host of its existing products including Alto, Wagon R, Swift, Dzire and Ertiga. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is its seventh model to come with AGS. Other companies like Renault, Datsun and Tata Motors have also followed suit and launched AGS in their cars.
As a result, share of AMT in the overall car market has risen from 6 per cent in 2010 to 16 per cent in 2017 and is expected to rise further to at least 25 per cent by 2020.
"Vitara Brezza has been a game changer for India's SUV market. We have enhanced its allure to meet aspirations of our young customers. They now have the option of Auto Gear Shift, the acclaimed two-pedal technology, for enhanced convenience," said R S Kalsi, Senior Executive Director (Marketing and Sales), MSIL.
"AGS has been very well accepted by customers, and sales of AGS variants in the Maruti Suzuki portfolio have tripled in three years. By making this technology available on Vitara Brezza, together with a refreshed design, we expect India's number one SUV to become even more attractive," he added.
Since its launch in 2016, Vitara Brezza has been a runaway success for Maruti. With over 2.75 lakh units of the model on the road till now, it has been the best selling SUV in the country for the last two fiscals. In 2017-18, nearly 150,000 units of the car were sold making it the seventh most sold vehicle in the year in India. It has also single-handedly catapulted Maruti as the largest utility vehicle maker in the country, ending Mahindra and Mahindra's long reign at the top.
The company has also made a host of cosmetic changes in the styling of the car across all variants including the petrol engine trims. The exterior and interior features have been given a makeover with new alloy wheels, in glossy black finish. It has also made the front chrome grille and back door chrome garnish as standard across all variants, while the interiors have been refreshed with an all-black colour scheme and complementing accents.
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