American electric car manufacturer Tesla will start its operations in India early next year. The US electric car maker will start its operations with sales and then foray into assembly and manufacturing of electric cars, depending on the demand, Union road transport and highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said at The Indian Express Idea Exchange.
“India is going to become the number one manufacturing hub for automobiles in five years,” the minister said.
The first model to be launched by the electric-car maker will be Model 3, the cheapest among Tesla vehicles, with prices starting at over $74,739 (approximately Rs. 55 lakhs), as per a report. The bookings will begin in January, the report added.
The government of Maharashtra in October invited Tesla to the state, weeks after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk hinted at entering the country next year. State Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray in a tweet said that he and industries minister Subhash Desai had a video call with Tesla executives earlier in the day asking them to the state.
At the beginning of this month, Musk said “Next year for sure” on Twitter while replying to a post with a picture of a T-shirt with the message: “India wants Tesla”.
Tesla’s arrival into Asia’s third-largest economy is possible as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is focussing more and more on promoting the use of electric vehicles.
In the previous month, Tesla’s market value fell down by $50 billion (approximately Rs. 3,68,300 crores) in spite of CEO Elon Musk’s promise to cut electric vehicle costs fully, so that a $25,000 (approximately Rs. 18.4 lakhs) auto-driving car will be possible, but not for at least three years.