Data from pre-owned portal QuikrCars showed a 26% y-o-y increase in interest for automatic cars from Tier-2 & 3 cities.
“The automatic trend in metros is three years old but now this trend is catching up in tier 2-3 cities and state capitals as the supply of used automatic cars from metros enter the pool of used cars in non-metro markets,” said Atul Tewari, COO, Quikr & Head – QuikrCars & QuikrBikes.
Of course metro markets are still buying automatics both old and new but, said Tewari, the “trend on QuikrCars platform shows that while the number of people searching for automatic cars in metros continues to be higher than non-metros, this year, less number of people are looking for automatic cars in metros as compared to last year.”
What is driving the hinterland love for automatics is the availability of compact cars with AMT. “All the major OEMs have introduced automatics including mass models like Maruti Alto and Celerio so the pricing has gone down,” said Tewari. Apart from small cars, compact sedans like Honda Amaze and Hyundai Accents are in high demand. The new interest is in vehicles priced in the Rs 2-Rs 5 lakh range for vehicles in the 6-9 months to 3 years age bracket.
Pre-owned marketers say there are two distinct aspects to small town India’s new-found love for automatic transmissions. First, a large section of the traffic comprises young customers. “Most of the traffic on our platform, more than 60%-70% in fact, are millennials,” said Tewari. Also southern markets show a greater preference for automatics than northern with markets like Kochi, Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram topping the list..
The automatic trend is also riding on small town India’s love for used SUVs particularly best-selling models like Hyundai Creta, Suzuki Vitara Brezza and Ford Ecosport. Data from Quikr shows a 28% increase in demand for SUVs from cities like Vizag, Guwahati, Vadodara and Bhopal.