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After signalling its foray into high-end personal vehicles with the Force One SUV, Force Motors is keen on adding another high-end product, this time a MPV. During the launch of the Force Traveller-26 in Chennai, Mr. Naresh Kumar Rattan, Chief Operation Officer (COO) and President of Force Motors informed that the company will add a new assembly line to its manufacturing facility at Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh to accommodate the new high-end MPV. He said, “We want to have a multi-purpose high end van. It is right now under development. We have to put an assembly line in the factory in Pithampur. It will take the existing plant into a new level.” Mr. Rattan also informed that the Force One SUV will have 2 to 3 new variants possibly with features like four wheel drive and ABS. The company had sold 2,000 Force Ones so far against a target of 4,000 units in the first year. The high end MPV planned is most likely to be the old Mercedes Viano which will be manufactured under license from Daimler with few modifications. The Daimler sourced 2.2L FMTECH engine which powers the Force One is expected to be shared by the MPV too. The Force MPV will be positioned to rival the segment king Innova and the Tata Aria. Force Motors, in order to make any impact, need to improve its sales and service network. [source: Rediff.com; Images from NetCarShow.com]
Force Motors has launched the world’s largest monocouque van today, named as the Force Traveller-26. The Traveller-26 comes as the most advanced van from Force Motors. The 26 seater is powered by a 129 PS, 295 Nm common rail diesel engine which is made under license from Daimler AG, Germany. The Traveller-26 packs in a plethora of segment firsts to set itself apart from its rivals. The body is made up of pressed steel panel which are welded in a robotic environment. The vehicle was completely engineered and tooled in-house by Force Motors’ R&D team. Best in class features of Force Traveller-26 Highest power to weight ratio in its category of 18 KW per tonne, as compared to 12 KW per tonne of other models First LCV in India to use dual mass flywheel Best in class efficiency; 15% more efficient than the competition Safest drive in class with disc brakes on all wheels Only vehicle in its class to adopt the Cathodic Electro Deposition (CED) dip painting process for the primer application, which offers highest protection against rust Load conscious regulating valve and electronic indicators for wear and tear of brake pads are two safety highlights Lowest floor height for easy entry and exit Lowest center of gravity Lowest NVH levels Wide body interior of width 2.2 m , a wide aisle, full standing height and ample leg room. The van is available in three variants –Standard, School bus and Deluxe – with 26 + D (Driver) seating capacity. Power steering is standard on all variants and the Deluxe comes with factory fitted AC. Price of Traveller-26 (ex-showroom Pune) Standard – Rs. 10.87 lakhs School bus – Rs. 11.17 lakhs Deluxe – Rs. 13.78 lakhs The Force Traveller-26 will be initially made available through 27 dealerships across Maharastra and Goa. Pointers from the press conference More than 65,000 Travellers have been sold till date. Maximum numbers of Ambulances are based on the Traveller. A CNG variant for the 26 is also in development and will be launched in the future. A Hybrid model on the Traveller platform, showcased as a concept at the Delhi Auto Expo this year, is still in the concept stage and could see a release if there is backing from the government for such technologies. The Traveller 26 could be launched in luxury variants that will have lower seating capacity and get goodies like air suspension, and better interiors. Optional extras such as ABS brakes will be launched next year. Around Rs. 50 crores was invested in the making of the Traveller 26. The 4X4 variant of the Force One will launch towards the end of 2012. Force Motors would be launching a new premium MPV next year. This vehicle is also to be made under license from Daimler AG. The company did not discuss the relaunch of the Gurkha. Currently Force Motors supplies 100% of the engine and axle assemblies for Mercedes C, E, S and M Class models. Till date more than 28,000 engines have been supplied to MB India, warranties of which are supported by Force Motors. (Source :http://indianautosblog.com)