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Tesla to start India sales next year, with eye on assembly

Transport minister tells local newspaper of the plans

A Tesla logo is seen on the V3 supercharger equipment during the presentation of the new charge system in the EUREF campus in Berlin in September.    © Reuters

Tesla will come to India early next year, country's transport minister Nitin Gadkari told national daily the Indian Express on Monday.

The electric-car maker will start with sales and then might look at assembly and manufacturing based on the response, the minister told the newspaper.

Tesla and the minister's office could not be reached by Reuters for comment.

India has been keen to reduce its oil dependence and cut down on pollution, but its efforts to promote electric vehicles have been stymied by a lack of investment in manufacturing and infrastructure such as charging stations.

The first model to be launched will be Model 3, the cheapest among Tesla vehicles, with prices starting at over $74,739 (5.5 million Indian rupees), according to a report in the Economic Times on Saturday. 

Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk on Sunday confirmed India foray in 2021 in a reply on Twitter, but said it would not happen in January.

In October, the government of Maharashtra had invited Tesla to the state, weeks after Musk suggested entering the country next year.

Shares of the electric-car maker were up 2% in premarket trading.

(Reuters)

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