India's Force Motors Ltd today debuted its first sport-utility vehicle that will take on bigger local rivals Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd.
Force One, as the car is named comes with a price tag of Rs10.70 lakh, which puts it in direct competition with Mahindra's Scorpio and Tata Motors' Safari utility vehicle models.
Force One will start selling from 1 September, the company said.
Demand for costlier vehicles like SUVs has been rising with rising personal incomes and the introduction of new models over the past few years.
The utility-vehicle segment has so far been immune from the gradual slowdown that has gripped the Indian auto industry of late. Auto makers grossed sales of 107,518 utility vehicles locally from April to July, up 8 per cent from a year earlier.
"We see a total SUV market of 70,000 vehicles... we plan to sell about 4,000 units of our model in the first year from launch," Force Motors' managing director, Prasan Firodia, told a press conference.
He said the company would launch two more variants of the Force One by December 2012.