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Tesla aims to launch in India as soon as this summer, says CEO Elon Musk

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For a while now, India has been courting Tesla in order for them to establish a manufacturing presence in the country. That usually follow Tesla having a sales and service presence in the market and the company doesn’t even have that in India yet.

But CEO Elon Musk has now announced that it could change as soon as this summer. 

Tesla is planning several expansions in 2017, including in PortugalTaiwan, South KoreaNew Zealand, and it is preparing to soon launch in the United Arab Emirates.

Those are mostly small automotive markets, but it looks like India might be Tesla’s next large expansion.

When asked about plans to enter India on Twitter yesterday, Musk said that he was “hoping” for a launch this summer:

The announcement follows a visit from India’s Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, at Tesla’s Fremont factory last year. He met with Tesla executives to reportedly “talk about introducing and increasing the adoption of “pollution-free road transport” with a focus on commercial and public vehicles i.e trucks, buses and two-wheelers.”

India is experiencing hazardous and harmful levels of low-level air quality in urban regions and it is currently seriously looking at what it would take to convert its fast-growing vehicle fleet to electric.

The Indian auto market is adding as many as 250,000 vehicles on the roads every month and it’s having a great impact.

Most of those vehicles are locally made compact vehicles from Tata or Mahindra, but like China, India also has its share of a growing luxury market that Tesla could enter with the Model S and X this summer.

The Model 3 is not likely to be available in the country until 2018, but it will definitely open Tesla to a greater demand in the country. While the automaker hasn’t opened orders for the Model S and X in India, the country was among those from which people are able to pre-order the Model 3 since its introduction in March 2016.

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