Tesla Inc will enter the Indian market early next year, it was announced by country’s transport minister Nitin Gadkari when he was speaking with the Indian Express. The electric-car maker will begin with sales and then they might also look at assembly and manufacturing based on the response; the minister told the newspaper.
During the conversation, the minister reiterated that India has been pushing for electrical cars in the country and hence, even several Indian companies have also been working on electrical vehicles that might be more affordable. He said Tesla will start operations first with sales and then they could also shift their focus to assembly and manufacturing based on the response to the cars. “India is going to become a number 1 manufacturing hub for auto in five years,” Gadkari added.
Back in October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had also suggested that the company will definitely come to India in 2021 when he was responding to a tweet from India. “Next year for sure,” Musk had replied when a handle called Tesla Club India.
There were several recent reports that suggest the first model which will come India will be far more affordable Tesla Model 3. The booking for the same could start in a few weeks. However, there was a report in the Economic Times that said that sales could well start in the second half of the year. For starters, the completely built units will be imported and it will be priced at Rs 55 lakh onwards. Tesla will most probably handle sales directly as it does in other parts of the world.
Back in 2016, Tesla said that they had collected $1000 deposit from interested buyers in India. However, all those customers are still awaiting their cars and there were few that had also told indianexpress.com they felt let down by the company.