Technology: After planning for Mars, Musk turns to India for EV biz

Virendra Pandit 

Mumbai: Elon Musk, the world’s latest richest man (net worth: USD 150 billion), is planning to take an unmanned SpaceX Mission to Mars in 2024 and colonize the Red Planet by 2050. Not many people, however, knew him in India until Monday.

Musk is the CEO of Tesla, Inc.

On Tuesday, his American automobile behemoth Tesla became a hot topic in India when, following a rumor of its joint venture with Tata Motors for manufacturing electric vehicles, stocks of the Indian company suddenly soared by over 20 percent on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

The speculation, that Tesla could use Tata Motors’ manufacturing facility, was later denied. “Tata Motors has not taken any decision regarding a strategic partner for its business and categorically denies any and all rumors suggesting the same,” the company said in a regulatory statement.

But Elon Musk’s Tesla has certainly entered India.

The American electric carmaker registered its Indian arm amid indications that the company is set to enter the country’s automobile market. According to a regulatory filing, the firm registered in India is known as Tesla India Motors and Energy Pvt Ltd. It was incorporated on January 8 with the Registrar of Companies, Bengaluru. Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa welcomed the American company’s arrival in India.

Tesla India has been registered as an unlisted private entity with an address in Bengaluru and with a paid-up capital of Rs. 1 lakh. It has also appointed three directors: Vaibhav Taneja, Venkatrangam Sreeram, and David Jon Feinstein.

Last month, Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that Tesla is set to start its operations in India in 2021 and would also look at setting up a manufacturing unit, based on demand.

Earlier, the Maharashtra government had said it was looking for potential investment from Tesla in the western state and had discussed the matter with the company.

Tesla was also exploring Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh for its entry into India.


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