Tesla seeks exhibition space in India and hires executive for lobbying: report

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Tesla registered a local subsidiary in India in January, which is expected to import and sell the Model 3 sedan by mid-2021. Tesla has recruited Manuj Khurana, a former executive at Indian investment promotion agency Invest India.


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The search for exhibition space and the new Tesla rendezvous signal is moving faster

Tesla Inc is looking for locations to open showrooms in three Indian cities and has hired an executive to lead its lobbying and business efforts ahead of its planned entry into the country, sources familiar with the talks told Reuters. The electric car maker registered a local business in India in January, where it is expected to import and sell the Model 3 sedan as early as mid-2021, seeking to target wealthy customers in a niche market.

The world’s most valuable automaker by market capitalization is seeking commercial properties of 20,000 to 30,000 square feet each to open showrooms and service centers in the capital New Delhi, the financial hub of Mumbai in the west and the tech town of Bengaluru to the south, three sources mentioned.

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Read also: Tesla in talks with Tata Power for electric vehicle charging infrastructure: report

Separately, Tesla has recruited Manuj Khurana, a former executive at Indian investment promotion agency Invest India, in the first major hire to lead its political and business development efforts in the country, two other sources said. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment, while Khurana declined to comment.

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Tesla is looking for commercial properties of 20,000 to 30,000 square feet each in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru

In October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that the company would enter India in 2021 “for sure”, although the billionaire has posted similar tweets in the past. The search for exhibition space and Khurana’s rendezvous signal, Tesla, is moving faster.

Global real estate consultant CBRE Group Inc – hired for showroom research by Tesla – has been monitoring the premises for several weeks and is focusing on locations that will allow the company to more easily reach affluent customers, according to reports. sources.

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Read also: Tesla to set up manufacturing plant in Karnataka

Some luxury car showrooms in high-end areas of metropolitan cities are typically 8,000-10,000 square feet in size, but most showrooms are much smaller in India where high-end real estate space is generally scarce and real estate prices in New Delhi and Mumbai are among the highest in the world.

“If you look at Tesla’s showrooms around the world, they are like experience centers. It would have to be replicated with some modifications for the Indian market,” said one of the sources, all of whom declined to be identified. because discussions are private.

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In October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that the company would enter India in 2021 “for sure.”

CBRE said it does not comment on “any work we may be doing on behalf of our clients”.

Khurana was previously part of a government panel on the future of transport led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s senior scientific adviser. In his new role, he also manages Tesla’s market entry process in India, two sources said.

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But India is unlikely to be an easy market for Tesla to break into.

The country has negligible charging infrastructure and high taxes on imported cars, as well as low adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

Read also: Why Tesla’s launch is a big deal for India’s EV infrastructure

India recorded just 5,000 electric vehicle sales out of a total of 2.4 million cars sold last year, while in China new energy vehicle sales reached 1.25 million.

However, analysts say the growing number of affluent consumers in India makes it a market the automaker cannot ignore as the government focuses more on promoting clean cars.

As Tesla plans to import cars as a first step, India’s highways minister told Reuters last month that the government was prepared to offer incentives to ensure the automaker’s cost of production was lower than that of China if it engages in local manufacturing.

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