Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that US clean energy and electric automaker Tesla will “start operations” in India by early 2021.
Gadkari underlined the push for electrical vehicles in the country and said a lot of Indian automakers have been also working on electrical vehicles that might be more affordable, but technically as advanced as the Tesla.
He said Tesla will begin operations first with sales and then maybe look at assembly and manufacturing based on the response to the vehicles.
“India is going to become a number 1 manufacturing hub for auto in five years,” Gadkari added.
In October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had suggested that the automaker will come to India in 2021 while responding to a tweet from India. “Next year for sure”.
Musk commented in March 2019 about entering India, in response to someone on Twitter who asked “What about India sir?”.
“Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” he said.
In September, it was reported that Tesla is in talks with Karnataka government officials about opening a research center in Bengaluru.
Recent reports suggest the first model that will come to India will be the more affordable Tesla Model 3, booking for which could start in a few weeks. Although the sales will happen only in the second half of the year. The completely built units will be imported and likely to be priced Rs 55 lakh ($75,177) onwards. The automaker will most probably handle sales directly as it does in other regions of the world.