Tesla India Launch Delayed UPDATED

UPDATE: India’s commerce and industry ministry clarified today that only foreign retailers, not manufacturers, are required to source a portion of their components locally. Foreign investors are allowed to sell in any manner.

Tesla’s plans to start selling cars in India as early as this summer have been delayed, according to a tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday. In the tweet seen below, Musk had originally suggested that a launch in India could come as early this summer, which would open up a huge market with India’s 1.3 billion people.

The original plan would be a huge opportunity but would come with its own set of hurdles. Because Tesla does not currently manufacture automobiles in India, it would be faced with some pretty big import duties. On top of that, India has overcrowded roads and unreliable electricity, both huge problems for a manufacturer of electric vehicles.

India is clearly an attractive market to Musk, as he has included India in the list of countries that can pre-order a Model 3. In addition, Musk had also mentioned that the eventual rollout would include a network of Superchargers.

A more recent tweet showed some problems, as a Twitter user asked Musk about the timeline for an India release:

Traditionally, India has pushed foreign companies to produce their products in-country, or at the very least source a large percentage from local markets. The Indian government recently attempted to loosen up the rules a bit to make4 their country more attractive to foreign retailers.

As Tesla has found out, however, even loosening up the regulations may still be a bit too difficult to overcome. We’ll be keeping an eye on Tesla to see what their new plans are for an India launch!


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