In a recent tweet, Elon Musk was asked about Tesla’s status regarding its India debut, to which he replied “Next year for sure”
The American carmaker Tesla has been hinting its entry into the Indian market for quite a while now. Fans of the brand have been waiting for the brand to makes its debut here, ever since Musk first talked about it in March 2019. Of course, the Indian car market is currently going through quite a rough patch, and carmakers in India are taking a rather conservative approach.
In such volatile times, things could become extremely tricky for a new car brand in India. Establishing itself, especially in the premium end of the market, will take a lot of effort on Tesla’s part. That said, the company has managed to create a lot of buzz even before its debut in India.
In India, efforts to promote electric vehicles are slowly gaining momentum. The Government of India is setting up incentives for EV buyers, and manufacturers are also busy developing new EV technology. Affordability, however, is still a big issue, as electric cars are significantly more expensive than their fossil-fuel-powered counterparts.
For EVs to become affordable, local production will have to be promoted. Thankfully, the Government is planning incentives for the same. Also, Tesla is reportedly considering building an R&D centre in India. Last month, Karnataka Stake government reportedly held a meeting with Tesla, and the latter is seeking to establish an R&D centre in Bengaluru.
Apart from that, during an investors’ meeting earlier this year, Elon Musk stated that the brand’s entry-level vehicle, the Model 3, is “too expensive”. As such, we expect the development of a new vehicle, which will be priced even lower than the Model 3, becoming the most affordable Tesla car.
The new affordable Tesla could be a game-changer for Tesla, as it would allow the company to penetrate the mainstream market internationally. As for India, a local manufacturing facility or assembly line will have to be established, if Tesla wishes to be competitive. Otherwise, we’ll only get to see low-volume CBU imports here.