Why doesn't India have companies like Tesla

The electric car manufacturer from the USA opens a sales and service center on the subcontinent. Research activities are to follow.

That happened: Last week, the electric car manufacturer Tesla confirmed that it would soon open a branch in India. Tesla founder Elon Musk had already announced several times on Twitter that he would soon venture into the Indian market. He also confirmed a corresponding message last week on Twitter: “As promised”, “as promised”, he commented on a blog post on Tesla's new subsidiary in India.

The company will focus on selling and servicing its electric cars in India. India is the fourth largest automobile market in the world. Research and development are also planned. The location fits well: Tesla is likely to settle in Bangalore, India's tech capital.

Therefore it is important: India has long been committed to promoting electromobility. The sometimes catastrophic air quality levels in Delhi and other metropolises are forcing the Indian government to act. In 2019, it lowered taxes on e-vehicles. Last year it promised to build 69,000 car charging stations across the country soon. Anyone who wants to buy an electric car today is likely to hesitate because it can hardly be charged outside of the metropolises.

Electric cars currently have a market share of less than one percent in India. Transport companies like Uber and competitor Ola have already committed to promoting more electric cars in the future. Tesla's entry into the market could also prompt Indian automakers like Tata Industries to invest more in electric mobility.

This is what we mean: The fact that Tesla, a prominent car manufacturer, is now settling in India is a success for the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Elon Musk used to complain that entry into the Indian market was failing because of Indian regulation frenzy.

Most recently Toyota had left the country and so had the American motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson. Their departure put a damper on India's efforts to attract foreign companies, preferring to lure them out of China as well. Tesla chooses the market entry via the Netherlands. Tesla's Amsterdam subsidiary is formally settling in India.

Andreas Babst, Delhi