Exclusive: Force Motors may exit SUV market, UV business to continue

by Sumantra B Barooah , 17 Mar 2016

Five years after launching its first SUV, the Force One, the Pune-based OEM is learnt to have decided to gradually exit the SUV market and focus on further strengthening its bread-and-butter utility vehicle (UV) and light commercial vehicles (LCV) businesses. There is no official comment on this development from the company.

The company is currently producing "very small quantity" of Force Ones in its Pithampur plant in Madhya Pradesh. That may come to a halt in a few months.

The Force One entered the domestic market with a fully loaded version sporting a price-tag of Rs 10.65 lakh in August 2011. In July 2013, a set of new variants with the lower variant priced at Rs 8.99 lakh were introduced.

The Force One was pitted against the likes of the Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari but the SUV did not find enough customers. It has sold only 3,008 units between November 2011 (134 units) and January 2016 (13 units).

However, Force Motors will continue with its Gurkha, a utility vehicle primarily aimed at off-roading enthusiasts. A new version of the Force Gurkha, based on a new platform, will be launched "very shortly."

The realignment in its vehicle OEM business takes place even as the Abhay Firodia-led Group expands its vehicle aggregates and components business verticals. Force Motors has launched new products in its bread-and-butter UV and van portfolio to further strengthen its position.