Mercedes-Benz Head in India excited for Tesla entrance: ‘New entrants…grow the market’

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Tesla Fremont Factory in 2015.

Mercedes-Benz’s MD and CEO of India, Santosh Iyer, said he is excited about Tesla’s potentially imminent entrance into the market recently, seeing it as a new way for the electric vehicle sector to grow in a country where it is needed.

“Our EV charging bays will be open for Tesla cars, just like they are for an EV of any other brand,” Iyer said in a recent interview with The Times of India. 

Mercedes-Benz has made it a point to expand its charging infrastructure in India, a country where EVs make up a small percentage of the population.

However, that is set to change.

Tesla is expected to announce a deal with India to produce EVs in the country after years of speculation and negotiations with the country’s government. CEO Elon Musk is set to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter half of April, and many are suspecting a deal will come from it.

Iyer is excited about the prospect of Tesla’s entrance into India, hoping it will catalyze the growth of the EV sector in the country.

“New entrants will only expand volumes in different segments and grow the market,” he said, speaking of Tesla’s potential decision to enter India.

A Long Time Coming

Tesla and India have been working on a partnership for several years, but it truly became apparent that things were getting more serious after an interview with Musk last year after he had met with Modi revealed the CEO wanted to make something happen.

“I am confident that Tesla will be in India and will do so as soon as humanly possible,” Musk said during an interview after their meeting in New York City last year.

Although Tesla has said it would not commit to building a factory without breaks from India on import duties, it seems there may be an agreement that is close to coming to fruition.

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Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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