Force Motors gears up for foray into fire and rescue segment

Force Motors gears up for foray into fire and rescue segment

Indian commercial auto major Force Motors is mulling a foray into the area of fire and rescue, with plans to launch firefighting vehicles by the first quarter of next year.

Talking to Deccan Herald at the international aluminium die-casting conference, Alucast 2014, here on Thursday, Force Motors Managing Director Prasan A Firodia said, “Today, in India, firefighting is a challenge, due to the kind of roads and traffic conditions that prevail here. Usually, fire vehicles are large, while city roads are small, making it difficult for fire teams to navigate and reach destinations sooner.”

Force Motors will launch three variants in its upcoming fire vehicle range — a small, medium and large vehicles priced in the range of Rs 20 lakh to Rs 2 crore, depending on the size and equipment (pneumatic cutters, generators, compressors and building razers, among others).

“In cities, where the roads and narrow, small fire vehicles are a logical solution to meander through the traffic and reach zones faster. Even while looking at the scenario globally, when a fire station receives a distress call, as the first point of rescue, a smaller fire vehicle is dispatched, which can perform multiple tasks, besides fighting fire alone,” he said.

In India, there is a misconception that only large vehicles with water pump and hoses constitute fire vehicles, and only such machines are capable at firefighting missions. But this is rarely true, Firodia said, adding that everywhere, the use of foam is preferred against water for firefighting.

Talking about market for fire vehicles and potential customers, Firodia said, “We have received orders for a few hundred vehicles from 4-5 state governments,” without revealing further details.

The government of India has already been looking for quick action vehicles to fight fire and Force Motors is working towards this need, he said, adding that the company plans to roll out the vehicles at its facility in Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh.

Firodia also announced that the company will come out with more traveller category vehicles in the future, to cater to the demand for ambulances, besides school buses.
Force Motors currently has two plants in India. Its small commercial vehicles and tractors are rolled out from the facility in Pune, while others such as SUVs, MUVs and other CVs are produced at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh.

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