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Old 11th August 2010, 16:30   #106
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@ Druva

Good question!!
Crash testing in India is a very grey affair. The govt. has been trying to implement this since almost a decade due to concerns from various NGOs. But even greater is the pressure exerted form the Auto lobby in resisting this. Just remember till some time ago models like the 800 and the Omini were among Marutis largest sellers and the hit they would have taken would be huge. I dont think the scenario is very different with the likes of HM etc...

The only carmaker that has its own crash test facility is Tata which is a shame considering how much the Indian auto industry has grown lately.

Now coming to your question about the likes of Innova and Xylo. Well in the Toyotas case the Innova is based on the 4runner/Hilux platform which is sold the world over. In the 4Runner guise it has 4 stars in the US (NHTSA tests) crash tests.

The Xylo I am not sure about. M&Ms crash testing is highly suspect. They have fared very poorly when the Scorpio was tested in Australia and still struggling to pass the US ones. There has been a lot of marketing jargon regarding Airbags and ABS, which is futile if the Scorpio is structurally weak. That said with the kind of global ambitions M&M has and the experience it has had with the Scorpio, Im sure that the Xylo and the upcoming SUV have made giant leaps in this regard. This is another area where Ssang Yong will be helpful for M&M.

Even Tata's stable is not 'all safe'. The Spacio/older Sumo variant is based on the Sierra chasis, which was developed and crash tested two decades ago. Although safer than most things running on Indian roads its not upto latest standards.

But at least our car manufacturers can be held accountable for these drawbacks. This is not the case with cheap chinese kits which can pass through the gaping safety loop hole in our industry. They collabrate with minor car makers, perhaps fit airbags or ABS which is plenty safety for most of us and sell them cheap. They have no major investment or obligation in the market so hold no risk.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 21:09   #107
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Source : autocarindia's website

In a departure from its focus on vehicles for rural and semi-urban markets, Pune based Force Motors is roping in expertise from foreign shores in engineering its new SUV – a first in the ‘personalised vehicle space’ – scheduled for launch next year.
The Pune based company has commissioned Lotus Engineering, a global leading consultancy for driving dynamics to engineer the ride and handling of the SUV. The vehicle will have quite a few foreign inputs. Autocar India learns that it will be run by a 2.2-litre engine built under license from Daimler will churn out a whopping 220bhp, and foreign consultants are working on minimizing NVH levels.
In an exclusive interview with Autocar India, Prasan Firodia, MD, Force Motors says “the drive line technology being offered by us in this space would be best in the segment. A ‘C-in-C’ chassis is designed and developed in Force Motors with high quality suspension, ride and handling characteristics fine tuned with the help of Lotus and benchmarked against the best. We are very happy with the performance of our prototypes.”
Force Motors will build the SUV at its Pithampur plant. Around Rs 150crore has been invested in the project which will have an installed annual production capacity of 24,000 units. The company has set up a new vertical for R&D, manufacturing, marketing & sales of the new SUV.
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Old 3rd November 2010, 23:58   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerHead View Post
Its Guangdong Foday Explorer Ⅲ. Force switched from Germans to Chinese .
Some pics from www.fdqc.com.
It looks like a Hyundai knock-off. I hope Force motors change the look and feel.

However the news from Force Motors has been that the new SUV is based on their own Chassis and a german engine. If that is true, all they need is a good body and interiors. I am not sure they would look for chinese help for these because chinese automobiles are not known for exterior styling and interior refinement. Not sure what to believe..
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Old 4th November 2010, 22:31   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRoadie View Post
But I personally feel they should price it under 10lakhs to improve their sales.
They have to price it well, that's a given. The bigger challenge for them will be:

Distribution : Not only are Force dealers becoming rarer than a Bengal tiger, they simply don't have the knowledge, expertise or finesse to handle urban customers. Walk into a showroom and the sales experience would have you believe that they are on a competitor's payroll

Brand : Ask the guy on the street and he'll say "Force who"? I cannot stress how important a brand is for the customer paying big money.

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Originally Posted by fz_rider View Post
The Pune based company has commissioned Lotus Engineering, a global leading consultancy for driving dynamics to engineer the ride and handling of the SUV.
We should not put any weight on such outsourcing. Mahindra had apparently used Lotus for the Scorpio. Look where it got them!
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Old 5th November 2010, 00:57   #110
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We should not put any weight on such outsourcing. Mahindra had apparently used Lotus for the Scorpio. Look where it got them!
I guess that was only for MHawk but it did seem to help or maybe that could be just the lighter engine helping out the handling.
Even ICML was using services from Lotus for their upcoming SUV. Lotus seems to be a favorite partner for Indian OEMs.
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Old 5th November 2010, 10:32   #111
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I agree with GTO on this whole Lotus hype. Basically you design a narrow wheelbase vehicle like the Scorpio which is a breadbox with wheels tucked in making the vehicle top heavy. Then you bring in Lotus engineers and tell them you need to improve handling but don't increase cost and try to use our existing parts bin.
What do you expect?? Maybe a slightly better handling Scorpio, but definitely not a Lotus Elan !!
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Old 5th November 2010, 11:16   #112
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Whatever ACI is claiming about the so called "global inputs", the basic design is Chinese guangdong (or whatever the exact name is) foday explorer thingy.
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Old 5th November 2010, 11:36   #113
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The head lights are a give away. They clearly resemble those on the Foday Explorer III. Not sure with such a design, how can they even dream of pricing above 10L, and we have not even gotten started on the BRAND FORCE
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Old 5th November 2010, 12:58   #114
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Unlike the customer Force motors dont have much to loose. Their investment will be minimal, kits will be imported from China, use whatever engines, running gear, parts they already have and come up with this contraption.

So even if it sells a few Force might break even with this operation soon and I wont be surprised people fall for this if its sold cheap. Big SUV:small money.

I wonder while they used Lotus to ensure this doesnt topple when one turns the steering wheel, have they gone ahead and done some kind of safety/crash testing. The reputed chinese car makers are no good in this department let alone the many fly by night operations who sell such cheap ready to assemble kits!!!
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Old 7th November 2010, 15:41   #115
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Got this today on Vicky.in

Force Motors SUV Pictures | Photos & SlideShows | Vicky.in

The SUV looks good to me, except that the photos are all of a LHD vehicle. The scoop photos also show the same headlight configuration.
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Old 7th November 2010, 19:03   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
I agree with GTO on this whole Lotus hype. Basically you design a narrow wheelbase vehicle like the Scorpio which is a breadbox with wheels tucked in making the vehicle top heavy. Then you bring in Lotus engineers and tell them you need to improve handling but don't increase cost and try to use our existing parts bin.
What do you expect?? Maybe a slightly better handling Scorpio, but definitely not a Lotus Elan !!
No offence meant but your first sentence seems to be saying there isn't much to the Lotus hype. But the rest of the post is about them doing a decent job to the Scorp within all the constraints, they may have had to tackle. I agree with you on the post except the first sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
Unlike the customer Force motors dont have much to loose. Their investment will be minimal, kits will be imported from China, use whatever engines, running gear, parts they already have and come up with this contraption.
And going by the things Gurkha can do and Traveler can do it in their segments, I will be hard pressed to find a competitor. Can you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
So even if it sells a few Force might break even with this operation soon and I wont be surprised people fall for this if its sold cheap. Big SUV:small money.
Investing into a new vertical (and it is not just a word in Manufacturing companies) means committing to whole load of upfront cash, which obviously carries a cost of capital or an opportunity cost as well. If they wanted to be fly-by-night, they wouldn't still be making the Toofans and whatever else they continue to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
I wonder while they used Lotus to ensure this doesnt topple when one turns the steering wheel, have they gone ahead and done some kind of safety/crash testing. The reputed chinese car makers are no good in this department let alone the many fly by night operations who sell such cheap ready to assemble kits!!!
I do not know what is the (historical) evidence to suggest that Force products topple when one turns the steering wheel. Why do we jump to conclusions on a thread which is existing to show spy pictures? Makes it appear as if you are carrying a baggage on Force and then venting it, on a remotely connected thread.

I liked the effort of Sonalika (Rhino - which is quite comfortable to travel in) and I really like the efforts TML and M&M are putting into get in global automobile engineering. We need to encourage them and this country of billion people have risen because of companies such as them.

Our country is not totally built on Michelins, Cokes, IBMs, Allen Sollys, Calvin Kleins and the rest. It is mostly built on the likes of those who produce JK/MRF Tyres, Bisleri Water, Wipro computers, Wills Clothing, etc. I am not hugely patriotic but I am surely game for arguments that are based on facts, fairness and capability.

Hope that was a fair thing to say.

BH.

P.S.: Force in 2008 signed a pact with MAN AG too and the Germans must have seen something in the player. And Force is a $ 2 BN Company today too.
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Old 8th November 2010, 09:46   #117
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@BurningHeart.

I think you misunderstood my post. I am not questioning the capability of Lotus Engineers. They are probably excellent at their job. What I am saying is that Indian manufacturers are throwing the Lotus name around with their products and Scorpio is definitely no Lotus Elan..
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Old 8th November 2010, 13:38   #118
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I hope the explorer III is just a decoy, there chances would brighten if they introduce the recently upgraded Explorer6.
Foday Explorer | ChinaAutoWeb
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Old 8th November 2010, 14:14   #119
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The Foday explorer 3 looks much better than the explorer 6 both on the inside and outside. But the interior layout is crap in both for such a large sized vehicle.

Yes it will probably just be price on which such a vehicle might sell, but what about sales, safety, snob value, service and support?
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Old 8th November 2010, 17:20   #120
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@4x4: I totally get that and I agree with you, like I said. Thanks for clarifying.

BH.
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