Elon Musk plans on Tesla Motors having ‘partial presence’ in India by 2019



  • A twitter post from Elon Musk revealed that Tesla plans on having ‘partial presence’ in India by importing completely-built-up (CBU) cars.
  • Tesla’s expansion into India is a part of the company’s larger plan to expand into Eastern Europe, China and Japan.
  • As per Musk’s previous tweets, he wanted Tesla’s Indian debut to be with Model 3 — the most affordable car produced by the company so far.
After months of anticipation, Elon Musk asserted that the luxurious car manufacturer is mulling over having a ‘partial presence’ in India in a recent tweet.



Tesla’s new plan to import completely-built-up (CBU) cars from the United States has come in after the Indian government did not make an exception for Tesla Motors ‘FDI in retail’ which bounds a foreign company to source 30% parts locally.

The American company’s expansion into India is a part of its larger mission to cover regions where Tesla still lacks a presence, like Eastern Europe, China and Japan by the end of 2019.

The India-Musk story

Tesla Indian debut first came into news when bookings for the Tesla Model 3 were opened to the public. Elon Musk even asserted that the company is soon going to open bookings in India.

Despite the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Silicon valley in 2015, Tesla Motors and the Indian government did not make any plans for market expansion.

But, come 2017, Musk announced that the company wanted to mark it’s Indian debut with Model 3 — the most affordable car produced by the company so far. But Indian market remained untouched due to tough FDI norms that dictate that at least 30% of the products used for manufacturing have to locally sourced.

Musk came out and stated that India doesn’t have the supply to support production yet.



Despite Musk’s request asking for temporary waiver on import duties and other restrictions, the Indian government did not ease any norms. Although, it did clarify the situation in a twitter post.

Narendra Modi has previously claimed that 1,400 archaic laws were removed to help business to operate smoothly.



Tesla’s entry into Indian market can be a win-win for the Indian government as well as Tesla Motors. India’s electric car market is still at its nascent stage with the vast majority of Indian people preferring to buy normal budget cars that run on run on petrol and diesel.

So, Tesla will have the somewhat of a ‘first-mover advantage’ in the Indian market since most car manufacturers are yet to foray into the production of electric vehicles. And, it’s induction will also support PM Narendra Modi’s 'National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020'.
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