When will Tesla start operations in India? Ever since the Messiah of electric car brand, Tesla revealed the mass market EV Model 3, many are awaiting the answer. CEO of the company, Elon Musk had previously reaffirmed his company's desire to start sales in India while the billionaire businessman has now set a timeline for the mission.
Elon Musk, who is active on social media platform Twitter, has confirmed that his company is planning to start India operations in 2019 and full-scale operations have been earmarked for 2020. On Saturday, the 47-year-old business tycoon tweeted, "Hopefully, partial presence in India, Africa & South America end of next year, with broader expansion in 2020."
Hopefully, partial presence in India, Africa & South America end of next year, with broader expansion in 2020— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2018
This is not the first time Musk tweeted about Tesla's India plan. He has clarified his stance in May this year tweeting, "Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately. Deepak Ahuja, our CFO, is from India. Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should."
Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately. Deepak Ahuja, our CFO, is from India. Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 30, 2018
It is believed that one of the stumbling blocks on Tesla's India entry is the country's retail policy. It requires multinationals to source a minimum of 30 percent raw materials sold locally if the investment is above 51 percent.
This law is applicable when the company controls the entire process of selling its products along with the ownership of the stores. Globally, Tesla controls the entire experience for customers including after sales. Elon Musk has asked relaxation for this norm and talks between the two sides are currently on.
If the results of the discussion are not in favour of Tesla, the only other option for the company is to import vehicles from USA plant as a completely built unit (CBU). With 100 percent duty in import route, CBU line will end up making Tesla cars significantly priced higher which is not ideal for a price sensitive market like India.
Tesla currently has a strong line up consists of Model S, Model X, Model 3 and the Roadster. The Model Y compact SUV is also in the pre-production stage along with the revamped Roadster. Both the last two models are expected to be in the market by the year 2020.