The automatic transmission is generally offered only with the top-end variants of mass-market vehicles in India. So the buyer can get the convenience of an auto gearbox only if he can afford to buy a top-of-the-line model, even if he does not want a few of the other features like climate control or steering-mounted controls. This is most common in the C-Segment where most manufacturers offer automatics with top-end variants, but now the trend might change with Honda offering its auto 'box with its mid-level variant, S, for Rs 9,09,000 (ex-showroom Delhi).
Ford was the first to offer their dual-clutch AT on the mid variant of the new Fiesta; however, the prices were high due to the cost of the technology and not many noticed it since the 2011 Fiesta is not a very successful product here. The Honda City on the other hand is the highest selling petrol sedan in its segment and also accounts for a sizeable chunk of AT vehicles in the market.
The demand for automatics is growing quickly with many city dwellers preferring it over a manual. Honda will try and capitalise on this need and push the City’s sales. It is a good move from Honda - making more choice available in an area where they are strong and the competition is not as good.