Force Motors earmarks Rs 500 crore investment for new plant

However, the company is upbeat about its personal vehicle range and remains focused with its investment plans. The Pune-based firm expects to break-even its SUV business in another two years from now.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 29 Jul 2013 Views icon5225 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Force Motors earmarks Rs 500 crore investment for new plant
July 30, 2013, Pune: Two years after it launched the Force One SUV in August 2011, Force Motors has managed to sell 2,600 units of the large-sized SUV. However, the company is upbeat about its personal vehicle range and remains focused with its investment plans. The Pune-based firm expects to break-even its SUV business in another two years from now.

Talking to Autocar Professional on the sidelines of the launch of the Force One SX and EX variants in Pune on July 29, Prasan Firodia, managing director, Force Motors, said: “This becomes our actual starting point. Thus far a customer would visit our showroom to see just one car. But now, he would have 7 options (3 variants of the Gurkha off-roader, 4 of the Force One including the upcoming 4x4 LX) to choose from. So we will pick up from here.”

Firodia also revealed that Force Motors plans to set up its third production plant and has earmarked Rs 500 crore for the same. “We have identified Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh as potential states. However, the board of directors has jointly decided to put the project on hold until the market fully recovers and the economy gains stability. We hope by the end of 2013-14 or during FY2014-15, we would be in a position to take our plans forward,” said Firodia.



N K Rattan, chief operating officer (tractor business) & president (corporate sales & marketing), Force Motors, said “the company will invest Rs 250 crore to boost production and engineering capacities during FY2014. Of that, Rs 55 crore has been spent on a robotic paint shop at the Pithampur facility which will start operating in September this year.” Expanding the Force One brand, the company has launched two new variants – the EX and SX. Priced at Rs 8.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India), the EX will woo buyers in Tier 2 and 3 cities and also the commercial taxi and fleet segment. While the EX variant is powered by the 81bhp BS-III diesel engine borrowed from the yet-to-be-retailed Gurkha off-roader, the SX variant gets the existing 139bhp, 2.2-litre FMTECH BS-IV engine. The SX is priced at Rs 11.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune).

Force Motors plans to launch the 4x4 LX variant in August. Focusing on the large-sized SUVs, the company hopes to bank upon reliable mechanicals and the interior space they offer. The firm plans to set up around 50 dealerships by March 2014 and hopes to sell nearly 2,500 units of these SUVs during 2013-14.

AMIT PANDAY

Photographs: The Force One production line and Prasan Firodia, managing director, Force Motors
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