Mumbai, Jun 24: Having cemented a strong position in the commercial vehicle segment, Pune-based Force Motors on Thursday said it plans to foray into the passenger vehicle segment with the launch of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) under the Force One brand by end-July.
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. “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 auto major has already invested Rs 150-crore in the foray to develop the SUV and set up a manufacturing unit at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh for the same. 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 has already invested Rs 150-crore over the last 12-18 months to make SUVs in Pithampur, he said. The company's Force One will have a 2.2-litre diesel engine and its price range is expected to be between Rs 10-12-lakh.
The vehicle will be 70-80 per cent localised, while other materials like 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 end-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 today unveiled a new logo which will create an independent identity that resonates with the desires of the non-commercial vehicle buyer.When asked the impact of interest rate and diesel price hikes, Firodia said, “We are not looking at this segment for the short-term. The automotive industry will continue togrow.” PTI