Force Motors to launch SUVs in July

Force Motors to launch SUVs in July

Friday, 24 June 2011, 06:55 Hrs
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Mumbai: After having cemented a strong position in the commercial vehicle segment, Pune-based Force Motors said it plans to foray into the passenger vehicle segment by launching sports utility vehicles (SUVs) under the Force One brand by end-July.

"We are a good brand in the commercial vehicles segment and now we will foray into the passenger vehicles segment as well. With the market growing in this segment, we want to tap the opportunity," Force Motors managing director Prasan Firodia told reporters here.

The company aims to sell 4,000 SUVs in the first year of launch and 8,000-9,000 units in the next two years.

The auto major has already invested Rs 150-crore, over the past 12-18 months, in setting up of a manufacturing unit at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh to develop SUVs, Firodia said.

The facility has an installed capacity of 12,000 SUVs, which can be ramped-up further.

"The initial capacity will be 12,000 SUVs per year but we can ramp it up to 18,000-20,000 units annually to meet the market demand," he said.

The company's Force One will have a 2.2-litre diesel engine and is expected to be priced around Rs 10-12-lakhs.

The vehicle will be 70-80% localised. The materials such as the interiors and sheet metal stampings will be imported.

"The SUV will be available with our 20 dealers pan-India," he said.

The company plans to ramp-up its dealership network to 40 by the end of this financial year and launch at least two vehicles over the next two years.

"We will launch one multi-purpose vehicle next year and an SUV in 2013," he said.

The company also unveiled a new logo which will create an independent identity that resonates with the desires of the non-commercial vehicle buyer.

When asked about the impact of hike in interest rates and diesel prices, Firodia said, "We are not looking at this segment for the short-term. The automotive industry will continue to grow."
Source: PTI
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