The company was founded in 1958 by N.K.Firodia. Bajaj Auto bought a controlling stake in the company, renaming it "Bajaj Tempo". Germany's Daimler-Benz, a long-time collaborator with Firodia because of their ownership of the original Tempo works in Germany, owned 16% of Bajaj Tempo. They sold their stake back to the Firodia group in 2001, meaning they once again held a controlling interest. It was agreed that the company would gradually phase out the use of the "Tempo" brand name, as it still belonged to Mercedes-Benz. The name of the company was changed to Force Motors in May 2005, over the objections of Bajaj Auto with whom the company shares a long history as well as a compound wall.Force Motors started production of the Hanseat three-wheeler in collaboration with German Vidal & Sohn Tempo Werke and went on to establish a presence in the light commercial vehicles field with the Matador, the proverbial LCV (light commercial vehicle) in India. Bajaj Tempo was associated with Mercedes-Benz since 1976 and in 1982 they began building the Mercedes-Benz OM616 diesel engine. Through the 1980s and 1990s, and especially in the last five years with a major product development effort, Force Motors has introduced new light commercial vehicles, a facelifted series of Tempo Trax utility vehicles, new tractors, and a new range of three-wheelers. The Matador, which defined the light commercial segment in India, saw sales collapsing in the late 1990s and Bajaj Tempo began a substantial program of developing modern vehicles to replace it.Bajaj Tempo also built the diesel engines used in the Mercedes-Benz W124, and later W210, as manufactured in India. This was a small-scale endeavour, but while it did not net BT much profit they benefitted from the connection, both in terms of reputation and technology.The company which mainly operates in commercial vehicle segment, entered into the "personal vehicle" segment in August 2011 with the launch of its first SUV, named Force-One.The company manufactures trucks at Pithampur, the industrial hub of Madhya Pradesh in Indore in a joint venture, Man Force Trucks Pvt. Ltd, with MAN AG of Germany. MAN Force trucks are exported overseas to countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and certain African nations. markets where a low selling price is essential. The JV was dissolved as on March 2012 with Force Motors having sold and transferred remaining 50% of Man Force shares to MAN AG for Rs 10 per share.Tractors are built under the Balwan and Ox (formerly Tempo Ox) brands. The tractor field was entered by (then) Bajaj Tempo in 1996-1997, and were developed indigenously, rather than depending on imported technology.