Tesla-the world’s most valuable automobile maker, has been trying to establish a presence in the fourth largest automobile market in the world- India. But Elon Musk has often cited ‘restrictive policy’ environment within the country, as one of the reasons why his electric carmaker company is still unsure of entering the market. However, it looks like the company might finally get a chance to leverage the opportunity that the growing Indian market provides, by setting up an R&D center in the state of Karnataka, ET reports.
Tesla is reportedly in talks with the Karnataka state government to set up an R&D center in India’s very own silicon valley-Bangalore. The city, which boasts the most vibrant startup and technology ecosystem in the country, already has some of the biggest names in auto, with their R&D centres. In fact, the region has General Electric’s first and largest global lab outside the US, John F. Welch Technology Centre (JFWTC). It has also attracted the attention of IBM, Samsung, and about 400 other global companies, which have set up facilities in the region.
If the talks yield anything meaningful, this will be Tesla’s first excursion in the country, which boasts a growing electric automobile market with not a lot of competition.
“The first proposal is for an R&D centre and we have already had at least two rounds of discussions,” said one official from the department, requesting not to be named. The India head of Tesla (yes, there is such a position) and the industries commissioner of Karnataka are expected to hold a meeting later this month.
Musk has been trying to enter the Indian market for over an year now, but has been limited by restrictive policy. He had noted in July that Tesla’s luxury electric cars will “hopefully” come soon to India, which seems more than wishful thinking now, especially since the report claims that the company has already completed two rounds of discussion.