With so many Force One SUVs on the streets, I think it is fair to say that Force Motors has tasted moderate success with its first ever passenger car.
The Pune-based automaker was very ambitious at the time of the launch of the Force One claiming that they are in it for the long run. Prasan Firodia, the head honcho of Force Motors, even divulged plans of an MPV following the Force One.
It seems that the automaker’s growth plans are well on track because the jolly chaps at Oncars.in have spotted the MPV testing in Pune.
By the sheer size of the test mule, it is easy to deduce that this is based on the Mercedes Viano. Of course, you already know that because Force Motors had signed an agreement with their partner Daimler to source the Viano platform.
The Viano is a BIG MPV, almost a Minibus. The unnamed Force MPV based on it with revised fascias will be an 8 seater model pitched as a more comfortable alternative to the Toyota Innova and the Tata Aria.
As the DNA of the Force MPV will be sourced from Mercedes, expect Force Motors to market it as a high-end MPV – a niche which is relatively untapped in the Indian market. It will not be a rival to people movers such as the Nissan Evalia and Mahindra Xylo. Force Motors should try its best to keep it away from the Indian taxi market, but eventually that's where the numbers are going to come from.
It is certain that the MPV will be powered by a Daimler sourced 2.2-litre FMtech diesel engine that does its duty in the Force One. The engine churns out 140 bhp which is as good as the Tata Aria – the most powerful MPV in India, if you discount the Mercedes R Class!
Force Motors has a very daunting task of creating a success story for this MPV. Remember, Tata Motors failed quite miserable with the Aria. Despite being an exceptional product submitted by the product development boffins, the Aria failed to stir the market. Perhaps marketing it as a fusion of an SUV and sedan led to its misleading identity.
Force Motors needs to carefully plan out ‘the four P’s of marketing’ when it comes to their new MPV. They have a brilliant opportunity in their hand, execution is all that matters now!