Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, said the company’s online order configurator “could be launched in India in January 2021”, a move that could represent Tesla’s entry into the Indian car market. For years, Tesla fans in India have been waiting for the company to establish a base in India.
Buying a Tesla car imported from the U.S. in India isn’t a good deal, because high import taxes could double the price of a car, making it affordable only for the wealthy. Most importantly, Tesla has yet to build charging infrastructure in India or any of its neighbors.
However, recent developments have proved that Tesla is ready to enter the Indian market. Twitter asked Musk on Monday if the company had employees working to ensure its entry into the Indian market. Musk responded that “the online order configurator will probably be available by January 2021.”
The order configurator will allow customers to choose their favorite model, design the car and pay a deposit for the purchase of an all-electric vehicle. After that, customers can choose to talk to a Tesla customer service representative to refine the delivery details.
Details Tesla needs to provide include where the vehicles will come from, when they will be produced, by whom, and whether the company will set up production facilities in the country to avoid high import taxes. If someone places an order for Model 3 or Model Y, Tesla is likely to complete the order on time through production at its Shanghai plant. Recently, Tesla said it would export cars from the plant to Europe, and the same strategy could apply to India.
However, this does not eliminate the additional costs of imported cars, so Tesla needs to build some kind of facility in India. It is reported that the company has been in communication with the Indian government to establish potential research and development facilities in the country’s Karnataka state. In addition, the state has proposed Bangalore, the capital, as a possible location for Tesla’s “Indian plant”. (Small)