Does the Force One need Big B to promote it? I am sure that’s one of the reasons you actually became aware of its existence but at the price it’s pegged at, you would have come to know about this new SUV anyway. The attribute of value-for-money makes itself known without any manufacturer trying too hard to convey it. Retailing at showrooms in Delhi at Rs 10.65 lakh , you get a large SUV with a burly diesel engine, seven seats with enough leg room for all, adequate space for luggage, large 16-inch wheels with alloys and several other useful features.
But that price tag also puts it into direct competition with some established players — the Mahindra Scorpio, the Tata Safari, and to a certain extent, the invincible Toyota Innova. The Force One is from Force Motors — yes, a strong player in the commercial vehicle business but it’s a babe in the woods as far as selling passenger vehicles is concerned. Sure, that’s the reason why it needs Big B to introduce its first serious passenger vehicle in the market, but I think the Force One will be able to find its feet eventually.
So what is the Force One all about? It owes its origin remotely to a Chinese SUV, but that’s where the connection ends. You see, Force Motors manufactures complete powertrains for Mercedes-Benz, so it had access to the German firm’s engines and gearboxes. Then it got a Chinese manufacturer to provide stamped panels for the body, based on its own specifications. All the other major components are either manufactured in-house or sourced from major suppliers. For instance, Rane supplies the steering systems, Lumax got it the lights, Subros the airconditioning, Gabriel the shock absorbers, Wabco the brakes etc. Then Force Motors got Mercedes-Benz Technology to help validate the electronics on the SUV, while some prototypes were shipped to Lotus in the UK for tuning of the dynamics. Engineers from Lotus also drove the car extensively in India to further tune the suspension. An assembly line was put together at Force Motors’ facility at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh to produce the SUV.