Tesla is taking a couple of relatively large steps to secure a place in India, where the automaker has been rumored to be working to establish a presence for several months.
With most of the major developments in Tesla’s India operation coming in the last few months, it was reported earlier today that the electric car company is now scouting for retail locations in India in major cities. Showrooms are Tesla’s “dealerships,” where company employees help set up test drives, explain products, and secure orders. It appears that Tesla is working to open these showrooms in three cities in India: New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. All three cities hold significance in Tesla’s success in India.
New Delhi is the Indian capital and the second-most populated city in the country. Delhi could be a major market for Tesla in India. Due to its high population, the city could be a prime area for Tesla to perform employment recruiting and help with sales figures. Around 11 million people reside in the city.
Mumbai is the financial hub of India and holds the label of the country’s most populous city. Mumbai has the highest numbers of millionaires and billionaires in India and is one of the world’s top ten centers of commerce in terms of global financial flow.
Bengaluru is where Tesla is rumored to be setting up a manufacturing unit within India. This is still a relatively speculative report, and no public records have neither confirmed nor denied these claims. However, Tesla will set up a showroom or retail location in the city, which will only increase the company’s footprint within India’s largest cities.
According to Reuters, Tesla has hired global property consultant CBRE Group Inc to survey potential locations to give the company access to affluent customers. This would line up with Tesla’s planned locations in New Delhi and Mumbai, two cities where financially healthy individuals are most frequently found within the country. The locations could be as large as 20,00-30,000 square feet each and will need to have enough room for showrooms and service centers.
In other developments regarding Tesla’s India project, the company has hired a former executive of India’s investment promotional group Invest India, Manuj Khurana, to lead its policy and business development efforts. Khurana will lobby for Tesla and work to develop relationships within the country as Tesla begins to make more strides in entering the Indian market.
For several years, Tesla has been hinting toward an eventual entrance into India. However, the project has been delayed several times for unknown reasons. CEO Elon Musk has teased an India entrance in the past, but this time, the developments seem to indicate that Tesla will be entering the market within the near future, looking to grow the relatively irrelevant EV market share that exists in the country. India only accounted for 5,000 total EV sales, a minimal fraction of the 2.4 million electric cars that made their way to consumers last year. However, the presence of an affordable and highly-supported EV maker like Tesla could change these numbers drastically. A domestic production plant would alleviate Indian car buyers from being exposed to import taxes, which have haunted consumer checkbooks for years, nearly doubling the cost of a car.