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Old 24th October 2011, 11:05   #76
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Even as a Puneite, that something as simple as getting a TD of the Force One is easier said than done.

I have been following up with Pratham Force for nearly a week now. Multiple phone calls, reminders, promises, assurances, and broken promises followed by excuses. First they were supposed to send the vehicle on Wednesday evening. No show. Then Thursday - no show. Some excuse or the other about one TD vehicle, either no driver, or too much crowd, or TD is far flung locations.

Then it was pushed to Friday. This time the excuse was that apparently the whole Pune Police force, including the SP, wanted extended highway TDs of the vehicle and so they got delayed. No show needless to say. The TD is now offered for Saturday. I ask them to now send the vehicle on Sunday afternoon so that I can take photos and have a decent unhurried TD. The time promised comes and goes. No show. No phone call. I call and am told that there is too much rush and the vehicle is on TD and they will immediately dispatch it "once it is available."

I ask them what is the meaning of commitment and booking a TD if the vehicle never seems to be available, and is offered for ad hoc TDs each time. Lot of hemming and hawing.

The name of the person I have been communicating with at Pratham Force is a Mr. Hemant.

With this sort of attitude, I am sorry to say all this "rush" is not going to translate into committed sales anytime soon. Highly unprofessional. Say what you want against Tatas and Mahindras, but when it comes to such simple things like responding to requests for TDs, they do go all out. And quickly at that.

Last edited by Eddy : 24th October 2011 at 15:58. Reason: Quoted post and reference deleted
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Old 24th October 2011, 11:34   #77
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

^^ If that's the level of customer service offered, good luck to Force trying to sell these! The company is not well-known in the non-commercial segment and it *will* take a special effort for them to overcome the resistance in the market. Such behaviour will certainly not help!
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Old 24th October 2011, 11:53   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyline GT-R View Post
All of the above are my personal views.
I am not sure why we in team-bhp want to bash up some particular models/companies, without even viewing/test driving their vehicles? I mean look at almost all Safari ownership threads, by 2000kms onwards the only common thing I see is my this part failed, my that part failed, company is replacing under warranty, poor after sales service and oh why cant tata make a 13lac car alright in the factory itself.

Same inputs for the mahindra bolero, with such sorry plastics and interiors for whats essentially a 7lac+ car, we still have people loving their rides

What I am saying is please give the same chance to a new product from a smaller manufacturer. Let some ownership reports come, lets understand what are the plus points and draw backs of the Force one.

Why do our armchair experts sit on their computers and judge a product without even seeing it in flesh? I saw similar trends when people judged the logan as well as the primier Rio or even the tata TL 4x4 or the xenon

The only unbiased opinions come from team-bhp's official test drives it seems!!

We all have the power of making/undoing brands via our comments. we should use our powers more selectively, after we have given a fair chance to the products concerned!!

PS: I do not own cars from any of these manufacturers, do not plan to, in the near future nor work for any of the companies mentioned above
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Old 24th October 2011, 14:49   #79
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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
I am not sure why we in team-bhp want to bash up some particular models/companies, without even viewing/test driving their vehicles?
The only "bashing" that is evident on this thread is some concerns raised about the parent company's ability to deal with a segment it is not familiar with, the absolute lack of safety features like ABS and airbags in the vehicle and the pricing. Why on earth do you need a test drive to comment on that?

Last edited by Eddy : 24th October 2011 at 15:59. Reason: Quoted post and reference deleted
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Old 24th October 2011, 19:28   #80
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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
the lack of safety features like ABS and airbags in the vehicle..... Why on earth do you need a test drive to comment on that?
I fully agree. Lack of ABS/EBD on a vehicle this big with a 10+ lakh price tag is not going to help its sales. Force first has to make space for it self in the passenger UV market. They will need to sell the vehicle (at a loss if need be) and provide good A.S.S to gain market acceptance and image. Once the vehicle generates some demand, then they can think about margins & price hikes.

Look at Scorpio. At what price was it launched and what is it selling for now? Same for Xylo - about 15% hike in price over 2 years. Watch and the same will happen with XUV500. M&M clearly said that it was introductory pricing and they closed bookings once they crossed 10,000. When they re-open bookings, what will the price be? I am pretty sure that by the time XUV500 reaches my town next year, the price would have gone up by almost a lakh.

So, how many bookings did Force ONE garner? Forget about 10,000 - did it even get a 1000 bookings? That is the difference between a known brand and an unknown brand. Even if the two vehicles were similar in all aspects and features and pricing, Mahindra's name will give it a huge boost over Force.

IMO, Force needs to:
1) add disc brakes all around
2) offer ABS/EBD as standard
3) bring the pricing below 10 lakhs - a psychological barrier. This will bring it some footfalls & bookings.
4) offer Airbags & 4WD as an optional package for 1 lakh more.
5) build up good-will in the market by going the extra mile with A.S.S. It will need dedicated premium service centers for Force One customers. It is essential that the Force One buyers are kept & treated separate from the Toofan - Cruiser taxi crowd.
6) Do this for an year or so, and then take stock of the situation.

I for one like classic lines of the Force One over the fancy lines of the XUV500. And a Mercedes Engine gives bragging rights over the mHawk - but I think Force depended a bit too much on this point alone.

I may be upgrading from my Xylo soon, but the XUV500 actually seems to be a smaller car. A Force One 4WD with Airbags & 4WD would be the perfect upgrade, provided they get the pricing right.

Cheers.
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Old 24th October 2011, 19:51   #81
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

I doubt if the majority of the customers care two hoots about ABS (anti braking system)*


* Pun Intended.
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Old 24th October 2011, 20:16   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SedatedDrive View Post
The seats creaked when you pushed your back into it. The arm rest hinges were openly visible. The dashboard, the panels, the steering wheel, the seat adjustment knobs and seat leather were below par at fit and finish for a 13 Lakh car. I was disappointed. I was hoping to get a TD to allow the car to redeem itself but in vain. From the outside the car had an imposing stance. Its huge. The rear seats lacked seat comfort, head rest and not worth for seating anyone you care for.
the rear seat doesn't have a head rest ?? From photos it seems only the third rows lack head rest, which is obvious since a large head rest would obstruct the rear view mirror. The rest is pretty harsh, but it's an opinion.
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Old 24th October 2011, 22:03   #83
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Originally Posted by lurker View Post
the rear seat doesn't have a head rest ?? From photos it seems only the third rows lack head rest, which is obvious since a large head rest would obstruct the rear view mirror. The rest is pretty harsh, but it's an opinion.
By rear seats, I did mean the third row seats.
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Old 25th October 2011, 17:17   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM View Post
Thanks for the review, Archish. The Force One seems to have been lost in the excitement and drama surrounding the launch - and more importantly Pricing - of the XUV500.

To be perfectly honest, I feel the Force One looks good, and ticks almost all the boxes of what one would need. It is also relatively cheap, and apparently well built. As mentioned by another, I would consider this for my parents in 2WD Only if it has ABS.

Wish Force had waited for the XUV launch. That may have given them the opportunity to decide whether or not to reconsider the pricing. Then again, we have to wait until next year to see finally where the competition will stand wrt prices.

Hope Force introduces the ABS enabled version First, instead of the 4x4.

PS: On a separate note, I am pretty impressed by the Force One website. It is well laid out, clutter-free, well designed and Everything (links/selections) works! Good job.

IMHO it was the Force One that made M&M rethink their pricing strategy. F1 came out at the time when M&M was planning to launch the W201 (code named) and M&M differed their launch by couple of weeks. I would imagine that they would have added all the "goodies" of XUV after they saw the F1 and made the aggressive pricing that we see now. If Force motors are able to scale up the features and bring out a good 4x4 along with a facelift on the body (some aerodynamic front) and interiors (with some better finishes) quickly, I am sure, they may be able to dig into the XUV's current waiting list. Of course with a better "emblem" and some attractive colors.
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Old 25th October 2011, 17:23   #85
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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
Why do our armchair experts sit on their computers and judge a product without even seeing it in flesh? I saw similar trends when people judged the logan as well as the primier Rio or even the tata TL 4x4 or the xenon
First of let us highlight what most of the criticism is about? Readers can decided if it is just product bashing or relevant criticism.

1) Lack of investment in body panel manufacturing and depended on a chinese supplier to provide body panels? What do you think will be the availability of body panels over time for someone who wants to keep this vehicle for 5+ years? You can still get body panels for a 10+ year Safari or Scorpio. What do you think will be the situation of a Force 1 buyer if he meets with a major accident 5+ years down the line?

2) Lack of ABS/Air bags for a vehicle that costs 11 Lakhs ex-show room. I understand that incorporating Air Bags is more expensive and complicated. However, ABS is now offered in most hatchbacks starting from the 3 Lakh range, so it shouldn't have been a big deal for a company like Force that supposedly assembles all Mercedes engines/gearboxes to add ABS. It is even available on the TVS Apache RTS 180...

3) Price compared to the XUV500. XUV500 is an overall much more modern package with much more features for the same price? For identical pricing the only advantage Force 1 offers over the SUV is chasis for more heavy duty applications (maynot be required/relavant for majority of users especially in 2WD form) and ofcourse more space in the third row and behind the third row.

For two/three basic advantages over the XUV, you will be taking a chance shelling out 13 lakhs OTR and not knowing if you will have support a couple of years down the line.

What I am saying is that the Force 1 looks like a decent product in isolation, but after XUV has changed the game, it looks very irrelevant in todays market.

For the same price, you get a much better product from an established manufacturer who has committed over 800 crores to a single product.

People may point out the good things about this product, but I would like to see how many actually will cut the check..
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Old 25th October 2011, 17:55   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo-G View Post
IMHO it was the Force One that made M&M rethink their pricing strategy. F1 came out at the time when M&M was planning to launch the W201 (code named) and M&M differed their launch by couple of weeks. I would imagine that they would have added all the "goodies" of XUV after they saw the F1 and made the aggressive pricing that we see now. If Force motors are able to scale up the features and bring out a good 4x4 along with a facelift on the body (some aerodynamic front) and interiors (with some better finishes) quickly, I am sure, they may be able to dig into the XUV's current waiting list. Of course with a better "emblem" and some attractive colors.
Are you seriously thinking it's possible to add the "goodies" in a couple of weeks ? I am sure M&M had all the goodies and gadgetry incorporated in the vehicles, the only thing they probably tinkered was the pricing.

Plus who in their right mind is going to be worried about a Chinese contraption powered by a 3-generation old Mercedes engine sold by a company best known for Matadors & Tempo's. Add to that questionable dealer/*** network, lack of safety features & "out of their" minds pricing. No way is this going to sell for 10L+, drop it down to Bolero levels and it might move. I wonder whether even 100 people have booked it since its launch.

PS: Wikipedia mentions that OM616 is actually an engine from the 70s ?? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_OM616 Is that true ?

Last edited by ethanhunt123 : 25th October 2011 at 17:58.
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Old 25th October 2011, 19:52   #87
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Replies inline!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
First of let us highlight what most of the criticism is about? Readers can decided if it is just product bashing or relevant criticism.

1) Lack of investment in body panel manufacturing and depended on a chinese supplier to provide body panels? What do you think will be the availability of body panels over time for someone who wants to keep this vehicle for 5+ years? You can still get body panels for a 10+ year Safari or Scorpio. What do you think will be the situation of a Force 1 buyer if he meets with a major accident 5+ years down the line?
Simpler body panels on the force one, calls for lesser replacements and easier denting. Btw forday explorer III is in its 5/6 year so body panels shouldnt be an issue.

Quote:
2) Lack of ABS/Air bags for a vehicle that costs 11 Lakhs ex-show room. I understand that incorporating Air Bags is more expensive and complicated. However, ABS is now offered in most hatchbacks starting from the 3 Lakh range, so it shouldn't have been a big deal for a company like Force that supposedly assembles all Mercedes engines/gearboxes to add ABS. It is even available on the TVS Apache RTS 180...
agreed. Abs/ebd should be given, however I am not sure if the lower version of a 17lac endevour has abs or not

Quote:
3) Price compared to the XUV500. XUV500 is an overall much more modern package with much more features for the same price? For identical pricing the only advantage Force 1 offers over the SUV is chasis for more heavy duty applications (maynot be required/relavant for majority of users especially in 2WD form) and ofcourse more space in the third row and behind the third row.
I am comparing a safari vx/ scorpio highest version to the force one. Force one seems quite reasonably priced compared to these two cars wrt price/performance/equipment wise

Quote:
For two/three basic advantages over the XUV, you will be taking a chance shelling out 13 lakhs OTR and not knowing if you will have support a couple of years down the line.
dont agree to this. Simpler body construction, old school ladder on frame and proven engine, translates to lesser mantainance costs, and apart from regular servicing, dont expect gremlins and bugs the kind we see in the safari. Btw at 13lac otr force one is fully loaded, the w6 is not quite there, and w8 is around 15lac. SO if force one 4x4 with abs comes at W8 pricing is'int it perfect?

Quote:
What I am saying is that the Force 1 looks like a decent product in isolation, but after XUV has changed the game, it looks very irrelevant in todays market.

For the same price, you get a much better product from an established manufacturer who has committed over 800 crores to a single product.

People may point out the good things about this product, but I would like to see how many actually will cut the check..
Force one is direct competition to the safari/scorpio price wise and the endevour/fortuner feature wise. Endevour/fortuner size/road presence, gud equipment and half the price. I think it seems perfect in theory, although I dont know how it shall perform. Looking at the trax I am sure force one would be a headache free buy for its customers.
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Old 25th October 2011, 20:02   #88
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Originally Posted by ethanhunt123 View Post
Are you seriously thinking it's possible to add the "goodies" in a couple of weeks ? I am sure M&M had all the goodies and gadgetry incorporated in the vehicles, the only thing they probably tinkered was the pricing.

Plus who in their right mind is going to be worried about a Chinese contraption powered by a 3-generation old Mercedes engine sold by a company best known for Matadors & Tempo's. Add to that questionable dealer/*** network, lack of safety features & "out of their" minds pricing. No way is this going to sell for 10L+, drop it down to Bolero levels and it might move. I wonder whether even 100 people have booked it since its launch.

PS: Wikipedia mentions that OM616 is actually an engine from the 70s ?? Mercedes-Benz OM616 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Is that true ?

I think it is a different engine than the one mentioned on the link:

Looking at the displacement and power out put, it should be OM 611

Mercedes-Benz W210 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is late 90s or early 2000. Still a guess, considering the specs.


2.2 16V CDI I4 143 PS (105 kW; 141 hp) 315 Nm (232 lbft) OM611 10.4 - 9.9
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Old 25th October 2011, 20:26   #89
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

I did spot a Force one in Coimbatore, perhaps taken delivery before diwali. Too much of bling bling in the front grill looked garish.
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Old 25th October 2011, 20:29   #90
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Default Re: Force One: Test Drive & Review

Jo-G is correct. This is not the OM616, but the OM611. It is the first generation common rail engine from Mercedes. OM616 used to come in the earlier Trax/Traveller etc, but was replaced by a tractor engine developed by AVL.
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