Someone else seems more eager than Elon Musk for Tesla to enter India. That someone is Anand Mahindra, who wants Tesla to set shop in India quickly. The Indian billionaire MD of Mahindra & Mahindra even engaged in some friendly baiting on Twitter. Here’s how it all played out.
Happy with the Indian government’s initiative to completely phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and to move into an all-electric car ecosystem, Musk tweeted this,
India commits to sell only electric cars by 2030. It is already the largest market for solar power. https://t.co/EGBNTPzmE5
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
Within hours of Mr. Musk’s tweet, Anand Mahindra indulged in some friendly baiting, by asking Mr Musk to set shop quickly lest Mahindra walk away with the lion’s share of electric car market in India.
Time you got out here Elon. You don't want to leave that whole market to Mahindra do you?? The more the merrier–and greener..! https://t.co/IPoA9viDRN
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) June 2, 2017
Mr Mahindra’s confidence isn’t misplaced. His firm Mahindra Electric plans to boost electric car capacity by 25 times by the end of 2018 (from the current 200 units/month to 5,000 units/month). From personal cars to commercial vehicles, all running on electric power, Mahindra is developing a host of transportation solutions. The firm sells India’s only electric cars – the E2O hatchback and the eVerito sedan, and recently introduced a four door practical version of the E2O.
On the other hand, while Mr. Musk is quite positive about the country, a fixed timeline for Tesla’s entry isn’t clear yet. That is probably what prompted Mr. Mahindra to engage in some friendly banter to try and get Tesla into India. Mr. Musk, answering a question on Twitter, had this to say about the delay in Tesla’s India entry,
Maybe I'm misinformed, but I was told that 30% of parts must be locally sourced and the supply doesn't yet exist in India to support that.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 22, 2017
The Indian government’s MakeInIndia Twitter handle countered Mr. Musk’s tweet with this,
— Make in India (@makeinindia) May 23, 2017
With the government now clarifying that the 30 % local sourcing isn’t required for Tesla to set shop in India, the ball’s now in Mr. Musk’s court. Indian car buyers have already shown plenty of interest in Tesla, by pre-booking the Model 3 even before the car’s launch here. Even Anand Mahindra wants Tesla in India. What are you waiting for, Mr. Musk?