Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is aggressively expanding its overseas business. The electric vehicle maker has built a strong presence in Europe, and recently launched its Model S sedan in China. Now the Elon Musk-led company is eying India, which has immense growth potential. The company aims to do high-volume business in Asia.
Tesla Model X would be the right fit for Indian market
In an interview with The Economic Times, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s chief financial officer Deepak Ahuja said that India is a big potential market. He said 2015 would be the right time to enter the Indian market. Tesla plans to launch its Model X SUV early next year. Ahuja said the Model X would be a good fit for a country like India, where the SUV segment has been growing at a double digit pace every year.
Ahuja graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, and previous served as the CFO of Ford South Africa before moving to Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in 2006. Ahuja realizes that foraying into the Indian market won’t be without challenges. The nation doesn’t have the necessary infrastructure (charging stations) to support electric vehicles. If Tesla enters the country, it will have to build a Supercharger network like it has done in the U.S. and Europe.
Tesla likely to face challenges
Another challenge is that Indians are notoriously brand conscious. If they have to shell out in excess of $70,000, they would prefer to spend it on a “bigger brand” like Mercedes or BMW. Just like in the U.S., Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) would also face opposition from dealers because of its direct sales model. Earlier this week, New Jersey asked the company to shut down its stores or adopt a dealership model.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s Model S has proved to be a success in the U.S. despite its higher price tag. The Palo Alto-based company has succeeded at a time when other automakers are struggling to popularize their electric vehicles.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) shares rose 1.39% to $244.84 in pre-market trading Thursday.