Tesla will set up shop in India in 2021.
The move shows premium EV automaker’s optimism for the Indian automotive market, which is 2019, displaced Germany to become the fourth-largest auto market, after China, the US, and Japan. India is largely expected to displace Japan in 2021.
A rising young and rising middle class contributes to approximately 3.5 million units in passenger and commercial vehicle sales in 2020. Separately the country’s push for lower emissions and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels could see a boom for electric vehicles in the near future.
Tesla reportedly is also looking into local assembly and production depending on the response for its products in India. If so, would be the fourth country Tesla moves into after the US, China, and Germany.
The first model to go on sale will be the entry-level Model 3 sedan which according to reporting by the Economic Times will be priced at around IDR5.5 million (RM303k). On his Twitter feed, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that a move to India is happening in 2021, but not as soon as January.
TATA Nexon EV and MG ZS EV are some EV models already sold in India.
Besides the healthy market space and the growing wealth of Indians, India has also instituted policy changes to attract manufacturers to get them to sell EVs in India; under its GST tax regime, GST on electric vehicles has been lowered to 5 percent from the regular 12 percent imposed on other vehicles.
At least three other foreign carmakers already sell EVs in India, including Mercedes-Benz with its EQC SUV, MG with the ZS EV, and Hyundai with the Kona Electric.
Indian manufacturers are also present in the local market with the Tata Nexon EV, Tata Tigor EV, and the Mahindra E Verito contributing to a 20 percent growth in EV sales in 2019-2020. A total of 156,000 units of EVs driven by two-wheelers, including e-rickshaws were sold in the corresponding years according to a report by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV).