As India talks about electrification of cars by India, till 2030, carmakers like Tesla are the ones that are going to make a world of difference in getting there. While Elon Musk, in innumerable tweets had made it clear that Tesla cars will be launched in India, the timeline for it hadn’t been discussed at all. However, it looks like there’s some development on this front now as a report in TOI suggests that Elon Musk-founded Tesla has initiated talks with the government to enter India through the single-brand retail route, which comes with several riders including mandatory sourcing of up to 30 per cent of the value of goods sold in the country. It's not news to us that Tesla wants to enter the Indian market. We'd told you on numerous occasions that Tesla has plans to come to India but the time frame always changed given the government's taxation policy. but now the sentiment seems to be changing.
Also Read: Tesla Model 3 Coming To India
It’s interesting that the development comes after Musk tweeted about the high import duty and sourcing requirements in June this year and in fact the Government of India responded to that tweet as well. The report also suggested that, according to sources, granting an exemption may not be easy and in any case with duty in excess of 100 per cent on direct imports, taking the CBU route was not an option. The government is expected to formally reply to Tesla over the next few weeks, considering there is interest not just from buyers but even the Prime Minister, who had visited Tesla’s headquarters in 2015. When Tesla kick started bookings for the Model 3 last year, India was one of the countries it included on the list which rekindled hopes of Tesla cars coming to India.
It’s probably the most opportune moment for Tesla to make the push to enter the Indian market as Nitin Gadkari made a statement at the SIAM convention this year that the government will ‘bulldoze’ petrol and diesel vehicles, in a bid to promote electric cars India. Gadkari’s stance on the matter has softened a bit now as he suggested recently that the government will allow exports of petrol and diesel cars to continue. However, Tesla’s entry will be welcomed by the likes of Mahindra in India and Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group had suggested that earlier too. We wait to hear more from Tesla on this matter soon.