Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News
Tesla is set to open an order configurator in India in early 2021, with the intention that early customers can receive vehicles by mid-year, industry sources say.
In mid-October 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company will open an order configurator for Tesla vehicles probably in January 2021. Now, several publications, citing sources related to the matter, have confirmed plans to resume booking in January. It was also reported that Tesla intends to begin the first deliveries by the end of Q1 2021, most likely indicating the time of dispatch of the vehicle batch from the factory. Considering the travel time, the cars should be delivered to India by mid-2021.
All cars will be CBU (Completely Built-Up) and will be imported via sea route into India. The companies which do not have either an Assembly plant or a platform for assembly, provide cars to the customers only by CBU. It is reported that Tesla will initially be able to deliver only 2,500 units. At the moment, we are talking only about the Tesla Model 3, the company's most affordable car. The expected price is about INR 55-60 lakh, which is about $75,000 - $81,500.
Tesla has visited the question of entering the Indian market on multiple occasions. Musk has in the past pointed to the Indian government's policies and criticized FDI regulations that delay the company's debut in the country. “Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately,” Musk had tweeted.
On September 21, it became known that Tesla is in talks with the industry department of the Karnataka state government to set up a research and development (R&D) center in Bangalore to harness the potential of India's tech capital.
“The first proposal is for an R&D center and we have already had at least two rounds of discussions," said one official from the department, requesting not to be named. He also said that Tesla's head of India and Karnataka State Commissioner for Industry meet again later this month.
Gaurav Gupta, principal secretary of Karnataka's commerce and industries department, offered government support for the establishment of Tesla's R&D center as well as a manufacturing unit, although he did not elaborate on what that might mean.
"We have offered them (Tesla) all support to set up a research and development center as well as the manufacturing unit."
At the moment, Tesla has not yet officially confirmed either its plans to create an R&D center in India or the start of vehicle deliveries to the country.
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