Recent reports from India have revealed that Tesla has initiated talks with the government to set up and operate a network of fully-owned retail outlets. The company has also received government approval for four of its vehicles, deeming them road-worthy in India.
The update was related by esteemed local financial media outlet Business Standard, which also noted that Tesla has been busy sourcing auto components in India. The deals, however, remain under strict nondisclosure agreements, as per industry experts. With these efforts, Tesla appears to be inching its way closer towards its eventual launch in India.
Previous local reports have suggested that Tesla may be looking to increase its sourcing of components from India, with the company reportedly in talks with at least three domestic vehicle suppliers. Auto component analysts have noted that Tesla has been looking to source a variety of components from the country, such as lightweight forged parts and possibly, steering wheels.
Tesla, however, seems set on starting its India operations using imported vehicles. Elon Musk has so far called for a reduction of import duties, stating that Tesla would look into establishing a local production facility depending on how imports of its cars do in the country. Import duties in India today are steep, standing at over 100%. Musk’s statements have garnered both opposition and support, with Indian players such as Ola Electric stating that Tesla should simply focus on local manufacturing and carmakers like Hyundai and Volkswagen openly supporting the CEO’s sentiments.
Tesla’s impending entry into the Indian market seems to be inevitable, with Model 3 and Model Y units spotted in several cities across the country. Just recently, a video of a Model Y being tested in Pune, India, made rounds online, showing the all-electric crossover traveling through a busy street. Camouflaged Tesla Model 3s have also been spotted on India’s roads. Considering that homologation has been completed for the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, Model 3 Long Range, Model 3 Performance, and Model Y Standard Range in India, it may only be a matter of time before the EV maker starts operations in the country.