After introducing new variants on its flagship SUV the Force One, Force Motors now seems to be planning on adding an MPV to its line up.
Test mules of the first generation Mercedes Benz Vito, a van that was manufactured and sold by Mercedes Benz from 1996-2003 have been spotted on the Bombay-Pune expressway. Our speculations on its launch, most likely in 2015 were also confirmed by our sources at Force Motors who said that the launch, initially planned for 2014, has now been postponed to 2015 due to the overall slow down in the industry.
The Vito, while certainly a boxy looking vehicle and makes no effort to hide the fact that it is meant to be an efficient people and goods carrier. While it is sold abroad with 2 engine variants, a 2.1 litre four cylinder diesel and a 3.0 litre six cylinder diesel, we suspect that the Indian version will get the 2.2 litre Mercedes based engine which is currently powers the Force One.
Mercedes currently assembles its second generation Vito in China. This means that Force Motors could benefit from lower costs of production since 40% of the vehicle’s components are manufactured in China. This is similar to the body kits of the Force One, most of which is manufactured in China.
While the Vito may look similar to the Chevrolet Enjoy and the Nissan Evalia, it is actually much larger and is a 9 seater. The Enjoy and the Evalia, along with the Xylo and the Innova are 7 seaters. This means that with the Vito, Force Motors will now have a vehicle that sits between the 7 seater taxi variant of the Force One and the 12/13 seater Force Traveller.
Watch this space for more details on the Vito soon.