Elon Musk and controversies go hand-in-hand, something that has been more evident ever since he took over Twitter and slapped the ‘X’ logo on its masthead. While the chaos on Twitter (sorry, we mean ‘X’) is never ending, Musk’s other ventures are making big strides in their respective fields, with Tesla leading the charge. Tesla has some big plans
Tesla is expected to finally start delivering the first Cybertrucks later this year in the US while elsewhere, its expansion plans are in full swing. Musk’s EV firm recently opened shop in Malaysia and if things go well, it could soon take over Indian markets as well. That’s right! Tesla is interested in coming to India and unlike most other Southeast Asian countries, it has some truly ambitious plans for the subcontinent.
Musk’s Tesla is in talks with the Indian government to set up a factory in India and start selling its globally acclaimed electric vehicles locally. However, that’s only one aspect of its business plans since Tesla also has some other plans for India going forward. One of them includes a low-cost EV developed for India and other developing countries. This EV could truly be a game-changer by being much more affordable than the Model 3 sedan.
While Tesla has stayed mum on these developments, here’s everything we know (so far) about Tesla car’s likely arrival in India.
Is Tesla coming to India?
As of now, Tesla has plans to establish a base in India and make it one of its export hubs. Tesla currently has a Gigafactory in China that supplies Asia and this part of the world with its EV cars and components. India has a booming auto sector at the moment, with several foreign brands stepping in to make big profits and using it as an export hub for the world. Brands such as MG and Kia have made a fortune in the premium cars segment.
Hence, Tesla wants to take a fair share of this market and establish itself in the premium EV segment. That said, India’s government policies hold back Tesla from entering the market and despite its huge interest, it is in talks with the diplomats to gain some tax rebates. The easiest way to lower the prices of its products would be by establishing a local manufacturing plant but Tesla’s biggest suppliers are based out of China.
The infamous border clash between India and China in 2020 has led to India preventing direct investments from Chinese firms. This affected MG’s operations in India, which couldn’t secure direct investments from its parent company SAIC, a Chinese automotive giant, and had to look for an Indian business partner to stay afloat. Reports suggest that the Indian diplomats have advised Tesla to adopt the ‘Apple way’ of forcing its Chinese suppliers to tie up with Indian firms and manufacture all the required components within the country.
Which Tesla cars are coming to India?
The easiest bet would be on two of Tesla’s entry-level models that have graced Malaysia and other Southeast Asian markets. The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are two of the most affordable Tesla vehicles in its current lineup, challenging the likes of the BMW 3 series and Mercedes Benz C Class.
However, Tesla has bigger plans for India. It is said that Elon Musk’s EV firm, Tesla is interested in developing a new low-cost electric vehicle car, especially for India. Details are scarce on this low-cost Tesla EV and all we know is that it would cost 25 per cent lower than the base variant of the Model 3 sedan. Tesla would manufacture this EV in India and even export it to global markets. Given that the Model 3 is a compact sedan, we won’t be surprised if Tesla’s new low-cost EV ends up as a crossover hatchback. For now, this mystical low-cost EV is still a concept.
Other than the Model 3 and Model Y, Tesla could also bring in its luxurious Model S sedan and Model X luxury crossover to the Indian shores. The Model S locks horns with the likes of the Mercedes Benz EQS and BMW i7 luxury sedans, whereas the Model X competes with cars such as BMW iX and Audi Q8 e-tron.
Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy Tesla
This story first appeared on Augustman India.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Tesla is in talks with the Indian government to set up shop in India and even manufacture EVs locally.
Answer: There is no estimated date of Tesla’s official launch in India yet.
Answer: The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are expected to launch in India. Tesla is also rumoured to launch a new low-cost EV for India.