Tesla’s entry in India in 2021, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari confirms
On Monday, with Ministerial confirmation that Tesla would be coming to India next year, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Elon Musk’s company would first start sales operations and, based on the response it received, would consider local assembly and manufacturing.
Gadkari said, “American auto major Tesla will have a distribution facility (sales center) for its cars in India from next year and it will be set up here (also) in manufacturing as per demand.” On Sunday, Musk responded to a question from an Indian fan club member about whether Tesla would enter India by January, tweeting, “No, but definitely this year (2021).”
Reuters reported that Tesla’s stock price soared on Monday, following a press entry reported on Nasdaq by 1.6% to $ 672.41 on Monday. People familiar with Tesla’s plans say no dealers will be appointed, with the company directly handling sales, focusing on digital retailing like other markets.
The first Tesla car to be made available in India will be the Model 3, the cheapest in its portfolio, with an estimated price of ₹ 55-60 lakh. Distribution is expected to begin by the end of the first quarter of the financial year. Tesla opened bookings for the Model 3 in India in 2016 and many paid a $ 1000 reservation fee, including the likes of Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and venture capitalist Mahesh Murthy. However, there has been no update on delivery from the company after that. In October, Musk suggested on Twitter that Tesla would enter India in 2021. “Definitely next year,” he said. A month ago, Tesla executives held preliminary discussions with Karnataka government officials for investment in an R&D center.
Musk has hinted at Tesla’s imminent entry at least five times in the last two years, with little progress. At times, he attributed the country’s high import duties and regulations to being a hindrance to Tesla’s entry.