Force Motors reportedly has plans to launch a premium 8 to 9 seater MPV in the following year. This vehicle will be an addition to the company’s new product portfolio which also includes an SUV model slated to be out next month.
The Pune based auto manufacturer currently produces only medium and small sized commercial vehicles, tractors and vans. Their entry into this new market is a part of their strategy for reaching the top step of home grown auto companies which is currently occupied by the likes of Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors. In short the company wants to project itself as a domestic diversified auto brand.
The managing director of the company, Prasan Firodia was quoted as saying that they will be launching their MPV by the coming year in their personalised vehicle space, which is targeted towards the hospitality and corporate travel sector as well as big Indian families.
He further added that the MPV is a premium vehicle which will seat around 8 people. It could also be outfitted with the same engine as the SUV. The first product to be released from their product portfolio includes the SUV which is estimated to be priced around Rs.12 to 14 lakh. The next vehicle will be the off road Gurkha vehicle which will debut after six months.
Force’s new SUV will compete against the Scorpio from Mahindra, while its Gurkha model will target the Thar market. As for the MPV from Force, its competitors will be the Mahindra Xylo and Toyota Innova.
Firodia also said that they have been in this segment since 50 to 60 years now and their long term strategy is to remain a big player in this van market. Depending on how well they perform in the passenger segment, their existing products will also see a positive rub off in terms of brand image.
The SUV is reported to have driveline (transmission and engine) Mercedes designed, while its vehicle dynamics which include handling and riding are developed by collaborating with the UK firm Lotus Engineering. The SUV will sport a turbo-diesel 2.2l engine which will deliver 140bhp max power, and will comparable to Ford Endeavour in terms of size.
Firodia said that they have invested around Rs.150 crore in this SUV project. They decided to enter this segment as they already had the SUV concept available in a short period of time, plus they thought that the investment was quite attractive from their perspective. They are currently looking forward to a June launch.
The company also began a new network of dealership for their range of passenger vehicles. This year alone, the company anticipates 25 dealer facilities located pan India. They also hope to sell around 4,000 vehicles by their first year, in a market size of 60,000 units. Force Motors manufactures tractors and large vans such as the Traveller as well as light commercial vehicles under their Trump brand. They assemble engines as well for Mercedes under contract.