Elon Musk: In what can be touted as a piece of exciting news for all EV (electric vehicle) fans, especially Tesla aficionados, The U.S. based EV manufacturer could be making its foray into the Indian market next year.
This claim comes from a formidable authority – Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO was responding to a tweet from an unofficial Tesla fan club (@TeslaClubIN), which asked Musk when the EV maker plans to enter the Indian market. “Next year for sure,” Musk replied.
Hey Elon , just thought we’d put this out here. We wait and hang on to hope wrt “hopefully soon” for India Tesla entry. Would love to hear of any progress in this regard. pic.twitter.com/8FNvyqFhIX
— Tesla Club India™ (@TeslaClubIN) October 2, 2020
The tweet Musk was responding to was accompanied by a photo of a T-shirt with a message: “India wants Tesla.” “Thanks for waiting,” Musk said.
Tesla’s entry could come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is focusing on promoting the use and manufacture of EVs (electric vehicles). Already struggling due to a significant drop in demand last year, India’s auto sector has been further hit by the still raging coronavirus pandemic.
Carmakers are seeking government support to push sales. Responding to a Twitterati who asked Musk when is he planning to bring Tesla to India, the tech billionaire said, “Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” he said in Mar. 2019.
India will be Tesla’s next automatic frontier following its Chinese foray. Regrettably, there are still some big hurdles that Tesla needs to overcome considering that import duties into India are as high as 100 percent, meaning, even if Tesla EVs hit the Indian market, they are highly unlikely to fit inside the budget of most Indians.
While Tesla is seeking temporary relief from the Modi government on import penalties and restrictions, the only solution to this is to locally manufacture Tesla products in India. Model 3, Tesla’s latest product in its portfolio is being manufactured in China.
The company has already sold more than 11,000 units of Model 3 in China in Aug. this year. Tesla plans to set up a new car manufacturing facility in Shanghai, which is slated to start functioning from 2021. Model 3 could be the first Tesla car to be launched in India.