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Tesla Cannot Ignore Indian Market In The Long Term

Will blue ribbon electric car maker Tesla come to India? Entrepreneur and tech analyst Jaijit Bhattacharya believes Tesla cannot afford to ignore the world’s third-largest car market. But at a time when it is under pressure in its home turn, the US, from China’s nimble EV makers, it needs to focus on the immediate and tackle that challenge.

There’s also the point that while the world’s third largest sounds impressive, the US market is triple the size of the Indian market, and the Chinese car market is almost double the size of the US market. So India has a long way to go. India is also highly price sensitive, says Bhattacharya, who was a guest on The Gist show on Stratnews Global.

“If you look at the cheapest car that Tesla has in the US, it’s the $40,000 S class model which is double the price of a comparable Chinese EV. From an Indian perspective it amounts to Rs 32 lakh and for that you can get a large SUV,” he points out.

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As and when the Tesla does come to India, it may cost as much as $50,000, which brings it into competition with luxury cars like the feature-rich Mercedes or even BMW. The Tesla, by contrast, is quite spartan.

There are also billions of dollars required to invest in a plant in India, and that being the case, Tesla probably thought it through and decided to utilize its existing manufacturing capacities fully.

Bhattacharya believes Elon Musk has overpitched and failed to deliver but says that is the job of an entrepreneur. He also acknowledges that American car makers have failed to compete in the Indian market, whether it’s Ford or General Motors or even the iconic motorcycle maker Harley Davidson. That in his view, is a far more worrisome point for Tesla.