Force Motors, a manufacturer of commercial and utility vehicles, launched its latest offering, the 26-seater ‘Traveller 26’, in Pune on Tuesday.

The vehicle is priced at Rs. 10.87 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), and would be sold through 27 dealers in Maharashtra and Goa.

The bus is powered by a 129Ps / 295 Nm common rail engine made under licence from Daimler AG.

Speaking to The Hindu, Prasan Firodia, MD, Force Motors, said, “this is the first time the Dual Mass Fly Wheel technology has been used in India in a light commercial vehicle (LCV). It ensures a smooth ride even at low speeds.”

Mr. Firodia said the vehicle was 15 per cent more fuel efficient than comparable models as it was about a tonne lighter.

“It is the only 26-seater monocoque construction offering structural strength and durability. All competing products are built on truck chassis. It is the only vehicle in its category with ventilated disc brakes on all wheels.”

The Traveller 26 rolls out of Force Motors’ Pithampur unit. In the first phase, it can make up to 10,000 units. The second phase will be commissioned after at least a year.

“In its segment, the market size in India is around 25,000 units. In the first calendar, we plan to sell 4,000-4,500 units, getting a 20 per cent share,’’ Mr. Firodia said. The competition includes products from Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors-Marco Polo.

The company would look to export mainly to neighbouring markets such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Africa including South Africa but after six months, said Mr. Firodia. Three more variants are planned in the first quarter of 2013-14.

Force Motors plans to roll out its premium multi-purpose vehicle by end-2013. “The product will be made under licence from Daimler AG. We are setting up a new facility at Pithampur, and will invest close to Rs. 500 crore,” said Mr. Firodia.

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