California-based Tesla Inc has started recruiting senior management and Indian leadership before the official launch of the brand’s first model in India. The information is not by Tesla but is given by someone who knows about the development. Tesla will soon launch its first model in the Indian market, which is the biggest emerging automobile market in the world.
Tesla has started recruiting for senior positions including head of sales and marketing and head of human resources. Last week, a tweet claimed that Tesla has hired senior legal counsel for India. Elon Musk, the bossman of Tesla Inc announced in January that the electric automobile manufacturer will enter the Indian market “as promised”. Tesla is also reportedly in talks with several Indian states to open an office, showrooms and a research and development centre. Later, a factory may also come up.
According to local media, Prashanth Menon, who has been working with Tesla for around four years now, was promoted to become country CEO. Tesla did not confirm these rumours and reports that first published on Bloomberg.
The EV maker is closely monitoring announcements from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government regarding changes to the country’s goods-and-sales tax that may reduce the cost of owning an electric car, the person familiar with the matter said. It’s also waiting for further incentives for EV makers under India’s production-linked incentive program before it makes a real push into the country.
Tesla showrooms in India
Global property consultant giant CBRE Group Inc has been given the contract to survey and find locations for Tesla that will bring the product closer to its affluent target customer segment.
The current luxury car manufacturers own showrooms somewhere between 8,000-10,000 square feet. This is due to the lack of supply of high-end real estate supply and the rising property prices in places like New Delhi and Mumbai which are the highest in the world.
“If you look at Tesla’s showrooms globally, they are like experience centres. It would look at replicating that with some modifications for the Indian market,” said one of the sources, all of whom declined to be identified as the talks are private. CBRE said it does not comment “on work we may be doing on behalf of our clients”.
Tesla has been pronounced as the world’s most valuable automaker and is looking for commercial properties between 20,000-30,000 square feet for each service centre and showroom.
Electric vehicles in India
The electric vehicle share in India is only 5,000 units out of a total of 2.4 million cars sold over the last year. China is out-performing in terms of adopting electric vehicles and touched a sale of 1.25 million units last year. However, the Indian government is heavily promoting moving to electric cars and slowly moving towards improving the infrastructure around it as well. Analysts have reported stating that even though things might not look promising in the electric vehicle segment, India’s rising affluent customers makes it a market that can’t be ignored.
Even though Tesla has decided to import the cars and then sell them in India, the government has offered incentives to ensure that the production cost of the electric cars would be offered at a cheaper cost than China, if the manufacturer commits to manufacturing their cars locally.