Force Motors, which has conquered 68% of the van market of India with its Traveller series, is planning to invest Rs 600 crore to develop two new models based on the recently unveiled T1N monocoque platform. The T1N platform has been in development for the last four years and has been built to meet international standards in terms of comfort, safety, features etc.
The T1N, unveiled last week, is the first vehicle in its segment in India to offer crash and rollover compliance with airbags for driver and co-driver. The shared mobility platform will spawn internal combustion engine variants, CNG and fully electric models. The platform will be shown at the Auto Expo 2020 (opens 5 February) and is announced to go into production at the end of 2020 at a brand new production line in Madhya Pradesh.
Force Motors is building a new body shop with robotic and laser-welding facilities in Indore that has an installed capacity of 35,000 units for T1N. The company will export the model to around 14 international markets including the Middle East, Africa, ASEAN and South America where it will take on rivals from international brands like Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, PSA, Nissan, Hyundai and Toyota. The company sees the T1N as a springboard to announce its arrival on the global market as a quality van manufacturer sold at an Indian-made price.
We have lined up Rs 600 crore in fresh capital investment to develop two new models for the next two years. These new vehicles will come out from our next generation monocoque platform coming up at our Pithampur, Indore, works for T1N.Prasan Firodia, Managing Director, Force Motors, told PTI.
While it’s too early to speculate what these two electric-ready vans would be, Force Motors could make models below and above the variant showcased last week. The company has said that it had not decided on the branding of the new van series – whether to introduce them under the Traveller sub-brand or a new one. That said, the company has no plans to replace the Traveller with the T1N.
Apart from the passenger movers, Force Motors generates revenue from manufacturing engines for Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Force Motors has supplied over 115,000 engines to Mercedes Benz India from its dedicated facility in Chakan, Pune. BMW and Force Motors signed up in 2015 to produce and test engines. Till date Force Motors has supplied about 45,000 engines to BMW from its Chennai facility.
[Source – MoneyControl.com]