Tesla’s much-anticipated arrival in India is finally here. The American EV maker is very close to launching in India. The Model 3 is the first car in the plans for India. This is the ideal move considering the price sensitivity of the Indian market. While all these were unconfirmed rumors till now, three Model 3s have arrived in India for testing a few days ago.
Tesla Finally Arrived in India, Model 3 will be Tested by ARAI
.@Tesla's plans for India enters the fast lane after it's model-3 cars will arrive in a couple of months for testing. Sources say the company also steps up efforts to bolster the leadership team and plans to set up Tesla-owned showrooms in metro cities. @Alisha2494 reports. pic.twitter.com/UkyAECfiXy
— CNBC-TV18 (@CNBCTV18News) June 4, 2021
The much-anticipated arrival of Tesla is finally materializing
On previous occasions, Tesla and India flirted with the possibility of the Californian carmaker entering India. However, the move never materialized. This year Tesla declared solid intentions to enter India. Since then, there has been much news regarding Tesla’s imminent arrival. The arrival of the Model 3s for testing is great news. Tesla is now accelerating the launch process. The testing of cars is the first step in the process. The company is planning on a launch by the end of this year. The backend work of setting up the company for launch is now on. The Model 3s will be tested by ARAI (Automotive Research Authority of India) and will also be tested privately by Tesla. The company will base its strategy for India on the basis of these tests.
Tesla is going slow with its overall strategy. It will test the waters in the larger metros before a full-scale launch. Tesla is recruiting experts for charging infrastructure, marketing, quality control, etc. The company plans on starting testing from July-August. It will then shift focus to laying the other necessary groundwork for a year-end launch. The 4th quarter in India is a friendly one for automobile manufacturers due to the festive season. This will allow Tesla to start off well in India.
How well can Tesla do in India?
Traditionally, India is a market that doesn’t adapt very well to change. The buyers are cautious and prefer to see how new companies do before putting down money. However, this tendency of the customers is changing. The success of new entrants like Kia and MG is evidence of this change. The EV market in India is also evolving. The first EV in India was the Maini REVA. When it was launched in 2003, it was seen as a niche. A car of the future that had no place in the then Indian automobile market. The subsequent Mahindra version wasn’t groundbreaking either. EVs were considered to be too small, slow, and overall more of a statement than anything else. However, in the last few years, with manufacturers like Tata, MG, and Hyundai bringing in EVs that are very good cars, the market dynamic has shifted.
The Tata Nexon, MG ZS EV, and the Hyundai Kona are vehicles that have been received very well by the market. All three cars providing solid range numbers and not cutting any corners is very helpful for their case. When well-respected manufacturers like Tata and Hyundai dip into a new segment, the market listens. This is the exact situation in the market right now. The Mercedes EQC’s recent launch is further proof of India’s emergence as an EV market. Although it is still behind Europe and China, the sheer volume of buyers in India means that even niche segments put up decent numbers. And Tesla will fit right in.
What will work for Tesla
The new, change-friendly India will go gaga over the Tesla Model 3 and its stunning software. The unique, eye-catching design and the super impressive range stats further sweeten the deal. While the Model 3 is not particularly luxurious, the minimalistic cabin will appeal to plenty of buyers. The OTA updates feature will catch the eyes of the younger generations. And the excellent straight-line performance will be definitely appreciated. It also helps that Tesla brings a very strong international presence. MG, which definitely doesn’t boast of the same presence, has done very well in India and is a genuine option for multiple segments. The good image of Tesla will definitely put it in the spotlight.
What might not work for Tesla
The questionable quality control is the only thing that could hold Tesla back. Europe’s inability to wrap its head around the same issue is well documented. In a country like India, any small issue can become a big problem. This could hinder the progress of Tesla in the country. Another factor that could slow them down is charging infrastructure. India is notorious for lacking the required infrastructure for most new technologies. However, if Tesla can buck this trend, it will dodge a massive bullet. The supercharging network will be very essential to the success of the carmaker in India.
All things considered, Tesla is set up for success. The new and easy to work with norms of the Indian Government will be very helpful as well. The solid technical base, excellent range numbers, supreme performance, and a good image mean that Tesla could put itself right on top of the Indian EV market. However, it should ensure that the two main problems of QC issues and supercharging network don’t hold it back. If Tesla can work a way to ensure that those problems never rise up, it will be a runaway success in India.