COVID vaccine maker Adar Poonawalla asks Elon Musk to build Tesla cars in India

Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla recently gave investment advice to the world’s richest person, Elon Musk. Poonawalla asked Musk to invest his capital in India if the Twitter deal doesn’t go through.

Poonawalla added that for high-quality, large-scale manufacturing of Tesla cars, Musk should invest in India. Adar also added that investing in India would be the best investment decision Musk has ever made.

Even though Tesla wanted to bring cars to India, the massive tax regime on imported vehicles prevented Tesla from entering the Indian market. Tesla officials have requested a rebate on fully imported electric vehicles, which is currently over 110%. However, the Indian government said Tesla must manufacture cars in India in order to get any kind of refund.

However, Tesla management lobbied for tax cuts. While Tesla already has a Giga factory in China, the US company said it wants to test the success of Tesla cars in India before setting up a manufacturing facility. However, the government did not budge.

Tesla even opened an office in India and hired a management team. But it doesn’t look like the brand will be bringing any new cars to the Indian market anytime soon.

Tesla India team starts working for APAC

COVID vaccine maker Adar Poonawalla asks Elon Musk to build Tesla cars in India

After several months of trials, the American electric vehicle giant directed its employees hired for the Indian market to start working in the Asia-Pacific region. The team will reportedly work from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and will initially focus on Middle Eastern markets.

Nishant Prasad, who was in charge of setting up Tesla’s Supercharger network in India, has updated his profile with Charging Operations Lead – APAC. Other Tesla executives, including Manoj Khurana, who was Tesla India’s first employee, moved to California in April 2022 to take on a role in the product.

Tesla has pending reservations in India

A few years ago, Tesla started accepting reservations for the Model 3 in India and business jargon like Vijay Shekhar Sharma was one of the first to pay a reservation amount of $1000 and reserve the vehicle. However, Tesla decided to postpone the India launch later. With this new decision, Tesla will likely accept new reservations from the Indian market.

The first product will likely be priced around Rs 60 lakh. Since import taxes are very high in India and Tesla will launch the car as a CBU, its price will be high. Tesla has set up a Gigafactory in China and products will likely be imported from there. If Tesla ever builds a manufacturing plant in India, the price of the vehicles could drop to Rs 30 lakh, but that could take years.

The Tesla Model 3 is available in different variants. The base version of the vehicle is powered by a 283hp electric motor that produces a maximum of 450Nm of peak torque. This variant can do 0-100 km/h in around 5.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 210 km/h. Tesla claims it can travel 350 km on a single charge. The top-of-the-range version is much more powerful and receives a 450 hp electric motor. The engine develops a huge peak torque of 639 Nm and can do 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds. This variant comes with a claimed range of 500 km in international markets.

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