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Modern technology could develop economy: Firodia

MODERN TECHNOLOGY is the solution for developing the economy of the country, opined Force Motors Chairman Abhay Firodia. He was speaking at a press conference after the inauguration of the new truck production facility MAN Force Trucks resulting from a joint venture between MAN AG and Force Motors at his factory in Pithampur on Sunday.

india Updated: May 01, 2006 23:23 IST

MODERN TECHNOLOGY is the solution for developing the economy of the country, opined Force Motors Chairman Abhay Firodia.  He was speaking at a press conference after the inauguration of the new truck production facility MAN Force Trucks resulting from a joint venture between MAN AG and Force Motors at his factory in Pithampur on Sunday.

Firodia said that technology and quality of MAN was legendary and the 250-year old company has the expertise of Rudolph Diesel who built the world’s first diesel engine in 1897 while working as chief engineer at MAN’s Augsburg plant.

Force Motors founded in 1958 as Bajaj Tempo Limited was set up by NK Firodia in collaboration with Vidal Sohn of Germany. The company gave vehicles, which became synonymous with generic mode of transport in the country like ‘auto rickshaw’ and ‘tempo’ both terms coined by the company. India’s first diesel light commercial vehicle (LCV) matador was launched in 1972 and became a household name.

The company has four core areas of competence namely innovation, engineering, power drive and manufacturing and a new area of marketing had recently been added as its forte. Similarly, the company has four product lines namely three-wheelers, LCV, utility vehicles and tractors and a new area of Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCV) has recently been added as its forte.

The new facility has been set up for truck production in Pithampur after a complete survey and had the capacity of producing 24,000 units per year of which half would be exported. Pithampur had developed during the last decade and power cuts had reduced and there was hope that the water shortage (unlikely to effect the not so water intensive industry) would be gotten over soon. 

Force Motors had a 70 per cent holding in the joint venture, while Man AG held 30 per cent. MAN would be providing the joint ventures’ chief technical officer (CTO) and three of the nine members of the board of directors. The trucks, tippers, trailers and tractors would initially be for the Indian market and would be exported only by the end of 2007. The local content in production and supplies would increase to over 90 per cent thereby making it possible to save up to 30 per cent of the material costs and provide a cost competitive option in the market. 

The NEOMAN Bus Group a subsidiary of Man Nutzfahrzeuge AG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Force Motors for separate joint venture for production of buses. The letter of intent focussed on production of chassis and complete buses for the Indian and Asian markets.

MAN AG Chairman Hakan Samuelsson said that the group had expertise in commercial vehicles, industrial services, printing systems, diesel engines and turbo machines. The trucks produced at this facility would satisfy local requirements according to conditions in the country where they were meant to be exported. The products ranging from long haul trucks to special purpose vehicles with different axle variants would be powered by MAN D08 engines and would satisfy Euro-III exhaust gas standards. The trucks would be exported under the MAN logo.