The commercial vehicle maker Man Force Trucks has announced its foray into the bus segment and said the company is eyeing a 50 per cent jump in overall sales at 6,000 units this year. The company, which recently launched ‘Man Airobus’ at the 11th Auto Expo here, said bookings for the Rs 60 lakh priced bus have started and it plans to sell around 250 units by the year-end.
“Entering into the bus segment is an extension of our product portfolio as we try to become a full-scale commercial vehicle manufacturer. The bus segment is a growing market in India,” Man Force Trucks Managing Director, Sudhir Mehta said. He added the ‘Airobus’ is placed in the market between the premium bus and rear-engine bus. The new product is a 45 seater inter-city air-conditioned coach powered by 220hp diesel engine. It is being manufactured at the company’s facility at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh, where it has production capacity to make 24,000 trucks a year.
According to reports, Mehta said, “Last year, we had around 4,000 trucks. This year, we plan to sell around 6,000 units including the bus.” Besides, the company said it has lined up three-four trucks to be launched this year. It was reported that last year, Pune-based Force Motors had announced to exit the joint venture by selling 5.58 lakh shares for €150 million (over Rs 1,050 crore) to the Germany-based MAN. “We are still in the process of exiting from the joint venture. The exit will not have any impact on the quality of the existing products,” Man Force Trucks Chairman, Abhay Firodia, said. Force Motors and MAN formed the joint venture company in 2006. At the time of formation of the JV, the Indian firm was the majority partner with 80 per cent stake, which became a 50:50 partnership in 2008, mentioned in the reports.
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Image Credit – Team-bhp