Tesla plans opening a showroom in Mumbai – Report

Tesla is in the lookout for a retail space in Mumbai, as per a report from The Free Press Journal. Like in the company’s international markets, it will have a few showrooms in India instead of selling cars via its website. The Tesla showrooms in India should be company-owned, and we expect the same for the Tesla service centres, starting with the big cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

A department of industry official who is in communication with Tesla has told The Free Press Journal That Tesla is scouting retail sites and plans to discuss charging infrastructure with Tata Power and Adani Electric. Maybe a cost-effective third-party charging infrastructure tie-up would complement the expensive Tesla Superchargers in India. The company needs charging facilities at Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Sheva Port) as well.

Tesla showroom Fremont factory Tesla Model S
Expect Tesla showrooms in India in only select cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Kolkata during the initial phase. Image Source: Tesla

Tesla India is no longer a topic of speculation but something that formally exists. Tesla’s Indian subsidiary has been registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in India.

First spotted by teslaclub.in, Tesla has registered ‘Tesla India Motors And Energy Private Limited’ as its company in India. ElectricVehicleWeb.in has accessed the registration data, and according to the official filing, the Tesla India headquarters is in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Tesla has appointed three directors in India, and two of them are from its present overseas team. Vaibhav Taneja, who joined Tesla in February 2017 as its Assistant Corporate Controller and then was promoted to become Corporate Controller in May 2018 and finally to Chief Accounting Officer in March 2019, is a Tesla India Director now.

Tesla India Motors And Energy Private Limited is the formal name of the Tesla India company. Image Source: mca.gov.in

The other Tesla employee assigned the Director role in its Indian subsidiary is David Jon Feinstein, who is the company’s Global Senior Director – Global Trade & New Market Access. The third Tesla India Director is Venkatrangam Sreeram, who was a Project Manager at Tesla from July 2012-May 2014. Before that, Sreeram held various positions at Jaguar Land Rover between October 2008 and July 2012. Prior to that, he worked at Tata Motors.

Tesla India setting up its headquarters in Bengaluru comes as no surprise. In September last year, the Karnataka government had discussed with Tesla about setting up its first R&D centre in India in Bengaluru, as per an ET report. In the following month, citing Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Commerce & Industries, Karnataka government, another ET report said that Tesla has been offered to set up an R&D centre, as well as a factory in Bengaluru.

Tesla Narendra Modi Elon Musk meet 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO, Tesla, during his US visit in 2015. Image Source: pib.gov.in

It was on 2 October 2020 that Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO, Tesla, revealed (on twitter.com) that the highly anticipated Tesla India launch would take place in 2021. Later the same month, he said (on twitter.com) that the Tesla India configurator (and presumably the Tesla India website as well) would go online probably in January 2021.

Last month, an exclusive ET Auto report said that Tesla bookings in India would restart (after originally starting in April 2016 before the launch was put on hold) in January 2021. Like back in 2016, the Tesla Model 3 will be the first model available to order in India this year, as per the report. The report also said that Tesla deliveries in India would begin in Q1 FY2021-22 (April-June 2021).

Base Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus white front quarters
The Tesla India launch would finally happen this year with the Tesla Model 3 launch. Image Source: Tesla

Tesla Model 3 price in India

Electric cars, especially highly advanced ones designed from the outset as an EV and featuring autonomous tech, tend to be way more expensive than their ICE rivals, but not the Tesla Model 3. In fact, at least in the U.S. market, it’s the opposite case (the EV is cheaper). While the base Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 cost $41,600, $41,250 and $39,100 respectively, the base Tesla Model 3 retails at $37,990, before factoring in any incentive!

In India, on the one hand, the Model 3 will have the benefit over its rivals of attracting only 5% GST because of being an EV. On the other hand, unlike all rivals, it will be a CBU import, at least initially, and so, be levied with punitive import tariffs.

Tesla Giga Shanghai (China) makes the Model 3 at a lower cost compared to the mother plant in Fremont (USA), but we have to wait to see where Tesla sources cars from. The base Tesla Model 3 price in India is expected to fall between INR 55-60 lakh (ex-showroom).

Featured Image Source: Tesla