Rumours have been around for some time, but now an Indian regional government has claimed that Tesla will indeed build a plant on the subcontinent. As yet, there is no firm timetable yet for the start of local manufacturing.
“The US company Tesla will open a production facility for electric cars in Karnataka,” the southern Indian state’s government has said in a short statement which was seen by Reuters. The news agency writes that the report was part of a broader document outlining the key points of the budget in the local language, Kannada.
Besides, B. S. Yeddyurappa, head of the government of Karnataka, said in a tweet that was later deleted, that Tesla would start its activities in India with a research and development unit in Bangalore, the state’s capital. It is unclear whether the production facility mentioned in the official statement refers to this R&D facility or a separate plant. According to Reuters, Tesla and the ministry did not respond to their further queries.
That Tesla could get serious with its long-delayed market launch in India was already discussed late last year. At the time, the minister responsible for transport in the Indian cabinet, Nitin Gadkari, told The Indian Express that Tesla would start operations in the country in early 2021. In December, reports suggested that Model 3 orders in India could begin as early as a few weeks but expected deliveries not before the second half of 2021. Tesla CEO Musk also confirmed on Twitter that the market launch in India would take place in this year.
Speculation about an Indian Gigafactory was again fuelled in mid-January when the Californian company registered a subsidiary under the name ‘Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Ltd’ with headquarters in Bangalore. India’s Business Today wrote a month ago that three directors had been named for Tesla India Motors, two of whom hold high positions at the parent company Tesla.