Elon Musk finally sees a market for Tesla cars in India

29 Jul 2019


Tesla chief Elon Musk is finally bringing his electric cars to India, to reap early bird benefits and to chalk out a niche market as other lesser peers vie for market share in a market that is yet to bloom.

Musk confirmed in a recent interaction with the students from IIT Madras and again on Twitter that the electric car company will make its entry in India by end of this year or definitely by 2020. 
In any case, the Tesla CEO said the car may run on the Indian roads by 2020.
Musk told this in reply to a question by the Avishkar Hyperloop team from IIT Madras that participated in the finals of “SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019”, a global competition organized by the US space transportation company, recently.
Musk’s shift of focus to India comes after the recent launch of Hyundai’s electric car in India and the spate of new entrants in the country’s EV market. 
The Hyundai Kona Electric is priced at Rs25.3 - 25.5 lakh and could come cheaper by at least Rs1.4 lakh with the reduction in GST from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.
The Tesla Model 3, on the other hand, could cost around Rs70 lakh, which places the car on the higher end.
Musk has been undecided on his India plans mainly because of difficulties of selling his high cost cars in a mass market for cheaper vehicles.
Tesla is likely to commence its Indian operations with the Model 3 electric car, which has been already delivered to many customers across the world.
Tesla cars have already been successful in making a name for themselves for futuristic designs, great electric powertrains, and, most importantly, several unheard of autonomous driving features. These cars are highly awaited in India, especially by the elite few, who have the cash to splurge on an all-electric fancy car.
Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2015 visited Tesla headquarters at Palo Alto, California with an invite. Musk couls count on government support as well.
Musk has earlier blamed government’s policies for giving up on his India dreams. He also blamed the FDI norms for the delay in the electric car maker’s entry into the Indian market. “Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately,” Musk had tweeted.
In January this year, Musk laid the foundation of Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai -- the first-ever outside the US -- that is expected to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year and double the production capacity.
Once production starts at the Shanghai Gigafactory, moving Tesla cars to India would be easy.
Tesla, which delivered a record 95,200 cars in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, however, reported a net loss of $408 million for the quarter that ended 30 June. Tesla’s revenue was higher at $6.3 billion against the $4 billion the company reported last year.

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