Force Motors (FM) has launched two variants of its SUV Force, and will launch a third, the highest variant, in a month’s time. The new launches will help the company have offerings across price segments, said Prasan Firodia, MD.

In the 19 months since the Pune-based auto maker made its foray in the passenger vehicle segment, it has sold 2,600 units of Force One. “Our target was 4,000 units,” Firodia said, adding that the new variants of the SUV, as well as three models of its off-road vehicle Gurkha due to begin retail sales by end-August, will give Force Motors a seven-strong passenger car portfolio in the Indian marketplace.

In addition to the general slowdown, FM’s single offering in the segment as well as limited dealership network has impacted sales, he said. The company will double its existing 25-dealerships by the end of the fiscal, he added. Many of these will be in tier-II and III cities.

Force Motors had planned capital expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore over a period of three years beginning last year. The power drive for the entire Force One range comes from Mercedes Benz which is made at Pithampur under-licence from the German auto maker. Priced at Rs 11.99 lakh (ex-showroom Pune), the features of the Force One SX include ABS, Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), progressive cruise control, steering mounted audio controls, reverse parking sensors and leather seats. Its has a 2.2-litre common rail, 16 valves, turbocharged diesel engine developing 141Ps made under licence from Daimler AG Germany. The onboard electronics is audited and validated by Mercedes-Benz Technologies Germany.

The Force One EX is targeted specifically at the “value minded customer” in the Tier-II and III towns. It is priced at Rs 8.99 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India).

(This article was published on July 29, 2013)
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