Tesla’s electric cars are a rarity in India, but the company’s stock certainly is not.
Small-time Indian investors are snapping up Tesla shares (NASDAQ: TSLA) like hotcakes, even though the company’s all-electric cars are among the rarest vehicles to spot in the country. Indians are placing huge bets on U.S.-based companies this year after tech entities have contributed to one of the quickest rebounds in the world in terms of economic conditions that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple, Amazon, and Facebook are widely popular stocks worldwide because of each company’s massive international presence. However, Tesla is emerging as the new number one preference for Indian investors even though the country has a small-time population of Tesla owners. Import taxes nearly double the cost of a Tesla electric vehicle in India, making them among the rarest vehicles in the country while the company’s presence elsewhere continues to grow.
Vested Finance, an India-based brokerage, said its accounts held $2.5 million worth of TSLA shares in November. This is a significant increase in concentration compared to early 2020 figures, which stood at just $76,000 at the end of March. Stockal, another brokerage in India, has seen its TSLA holdings quadruple to $10 million during the same period, Reuters reported.
The investors who chose to funnel their hard-earned money into TSLA’s stock have been rewarded as the company’s shares have increased by 450% during the timeframe. At the end of March, TSLA was trading at $104.80. Currently trading at a shade under $600 a share, TSLA has been one of Wall Street’s biggest stocks during the year.
One of the biggest individual investors in TSLA stock is 33-year-old Gaurav Jhunjhunwala, who became an Elon Musk fan after reading his biography. He paid $1,000 to book a Model 3 reservation whenever Tesla enters India and has been buying 30 shares of TSLA stock every other week. Currently, he says he has invested $100,000 into the electric automaker.
“I just like the way the guy thinks,” Jhunjhunwala said about Musk. “He is trying to make the world a better place.”
While Tesla is not a company with a notable presence in India as of right now, the company has inquired about building a factory in the country in the past. The demand for vehicles in India is notable, and consumers would likely buy the company’s cars. Still, a long process of establishing a manufacturing plant in the country is not advantageous currently. As of now, Tesla is building international plants in Shanghai, China, and Brandenburg, Germany, near Berlin. These locations are advantageous for Tesla at the current time because they will funnel vehicles to Asian and European countries where demand for electric vehicles is skyrocketing.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, did indicate that the electric automaker will “for sure” make its entry into the Indian market in 2021 in a Tweet in October. Local government officials in Karnataka, a state in India, have indicated that they plan to speak with Tesla officials to get concrete plans into place.
“We are firmly committed to policy building and changes for sustainable development, and I personally believe that electric mobility, supported by renewable energy is the way ahead. Let’s hope we can help this thought become mainstream soon,” wrote Aaditya Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader and son of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Disclaimer: Joey Klender is a TSLA Shareholder.