Johanneburg – Most South Africans have probably never heard of Force Motors, but the Indian brand’s range of rugged-looking commercial vehicles will be hitting our roads soon.
Having signed a distribution agreement with ETG Logistics, Force Motors will be entering the South African market early next year, with a comprehensive range of products that include the Kargo King bakkie, Gurkha 4×4 and the Traveller midi-bus and panel van range.
Force Motors readily admits that the Gurkha was inspired by the Mercedes G-Class. The rugged three-door SUV is aimed at serious off-road enthusiasts and features independently controlled diff locks as well as a water-wading ability of up to 700mm and a gradeability of 35 degrees.
Power comes from a 2.6-litre diesel engine that produces 67kW and 250Nm, and it’s paired with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The cabin design mimics the utilitarian exterior, but there are still a few modern creature comforts, such as a 17.8cm touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and CarPlay connectivity.
The detailed model specifications as well as pricing for the local range will be divulged closer to launch, and on that note the importer is aiming to commence sales during the first quarter of 2023. Homologation of the vehicles is currently underway.
“We are extremely pleased to have on board ETG Logistics as our distributor for South Africa and neighbouring countries,” said Force Motors Managing Director Prasan Firodia.
“We believe that we have the right products to cater to different customer segments and with this association look forward to emerging as a strong brand in multiple African markets.”
ETG Logistic CEO Kalpesh Patel said the company was also in advanced discussions for the East African markets, starting with Kenya, where the long-term plans also include the possibility of an assembly plant.
Force Motors was founded in 1958 and is based in the city of Pune. Currently the company also assembles engines for both BMW and Mercedes for use in their Indian-built cars.