1. Across the globe, Tesla has a range of electric sedans and SUVs in markets with Model S, Model X and Model 3 as some of its most popular and heavily acclaimed cars. The brand is special and recently expected to launch in India. Now, what is interesting in this scenario is the choice of models the company decides to launch in the Indian market – considering the idea of success here, depends on a different set of scales.
2. Promoting the cars as environment friendly would sadly not do the trick in India. Indian car buyers are still likely to give more priority to the pocket than the usage of cleaner energy for a better future. Of course, this does not go to define every buyer ever to have bought a car in India but the jump in the diesel vehicle sales every time the price of diesel drops goes to paint the picture.
3. There is an evident lack in infrastructure and while the Government has shown interest in promoting electric and hybrid vehicles – we have not come far. The situation is still inadequate to cater to a large number of electric vehicles. Electric cars in the current Indian scenario include the Mahindra e20, which is primarily used for city commute with charging points either at residence or at selected designated spots in big cities. Tesla cars may have a wider range but it is certain that these too would run out of power at some point, which is why a more resilient infrastructure is of crucial importance.
4. The ability to establish a quick and extensive service network in the country remains one of the most significant aspects determining the potential Tesla sales number in India.
5. Cost of ownership would be another heavy influential factor with Tesla cars. Even though, the driving cost is expected to be a lot less as compared to moving in petrol or diesel vehicles – to bring down service and repair costs, Tesla will have to take their cars to the masses instead of appealing to a niche section of buyers alone.
6. The biggest factor in the popularity of Tesla vehicles in the country would be the cost. Several questions come to mind in this context – Will they ‘Make in India’? If not, there is import duty to be charged and to what limit? Also, would there be tax exemptions? Do buyers get incentives to trade in their existing gasoline models? After all, the luxurious Tesla S 2017 model in UK starts at 58,600 pounds and that’s almost 50 lakhs in the Indian currency.
7. Going ahead with the previous point, Tesla does have some exciting buying options in different nations. The Tesla Lending programs are designed to help buyers make informed finance decisions on how to pay for their vehicles and that is commendable. Although, it is unlikely that those would ever work in the financial structure in India.
8. Tesla cars are especially popular for their unique safety features and it would be a huge disappointment if they decided to drop off some of those features to cut costs in India. In this context, Tesla would be advised not to compromise any such as the Indian market is known to repel automakers on the basis of what we get here as compared to the same vehicles in US, Europe and Australia.
9. The roads here in India are rocky and Tesla would do well to take that in consideration. Most of their vehicles – especially Model S and Model 3 do not have a mammoth ground clearance that would give their cars survival over broken roads. On paper, this may seem like a tiny glitch but if you have been anywhere in India you would know what the roads could do to your car.
10. One factor that Tesla should really consider before launching in India is the competition that it is unlikely to face in the country. Almost nothing is forecast for the near future. BMW, Mercedes and Audi may be toughing it out in the electric cars segment but one should know that the segment itself is somewhat missing. The Germans have also not shown firmness on exploring/establishing in the country yet and all of that should and likely would benefit the existing and potential brands.
All said and yet to be done but Tesla in India is certainly an exciting venture to look forward to.