Pune-based Force Motors has firmed up plans to invest Rs 2000 crore over the next two years to enhance manufacturing capacity, digitalise operations, improve engines and step up research and development (R&D) in alternate fuel technologies to expand its footprint in the Indian market.
Prasan Firodia, Managing Director, Force Motors said, “Between vehicle manufacturing and our high tech components’ businesses, growth opportunities look good over the next two years. The economic outlook is positive. We are looking at investing Rs 2000 crore in the next two years to expand operations.” Of this, Rs 300-400 crore will be utilised to commission a second paint shop at the company’s manufacturing facility in Pune (Maharashtra).
Force Motors (listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange) produces small commercial vehicles like Traveller and Urbania and SUV Force Gurkha, among others. The company sold 17,335 commercial vehicles (up from 12,913 units in the same period last fiscal) and 1,133 passenger vehicles (up from 540 units) between April and December of the ongoing financial year. The company also manufactures engines and gears for Mercedes Benz, BMW and Rolls Royce on a contractual basis.
Firodia spoke to ET at the Bharat Mobility Show (BMS) being held in the national capital from Feb 1-3, 2023. The company showcased an electric version of the Traveller, Traveller CNG and Urbania diesel at the expo. “With growing urbanisation and consequent growth of public transport solutions in the cities, there is a significant need for sustainable and economical last-mile connectivity. Our focus now is to strengthen our play in this space with the CNG and electric Traveller and with vehicles based on the new Urbania platform”, Firodia said.
The company – which is the largest van maker in the country – said there is a need for regulatory authorities to identify appropriate vehicles for specific applications to encourage adoption of electric vehicles in India. “While the government is putting a lot of focus on bringing on-road electric buses, electric vans with the capacity to carry 20-30 passengers can also help decongest roads and address challenges related to last mile connectivity in a sustainable manner”, Firodia said.
He added while the company will continue to invest to expand its presence in these segments in the local market, Firodia said work is also on to scale up exports going ahead. He informed, “Exports currently comprise a little than 10% of our sales, currently. We are targeting increasing this to 20-25% of our overall volumes in the next two years.”
(You can now subscribe to our Economic Times WhatsApp channel)