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Tesla CEO Elon Musk hints at India entry in 2021

The American automaker’s India entry could come close on the heels of the exit of compatriots Harley Davidson and General Motors from the market. Ford too exited independent operations in the country after selling its manufacturing plant and other assets to a joint venture company it set up with Mahindra and Mahindra.

However, this was not the first time that the head of the world’s most valuable car company has spoken about its India entry with little on-ground progress.

In July when an Indian Twitter user who had booked a Tesla Model 3 over four years ago asked Elon Musk when was the company expected in India, the latter said, “Sorry, should hopefully be soon!”

Before that, he said in March 2019: “Would love to be there (India) this year. If not, definitely next!” In July that year, he told students from IIT Madras that Tesla would be in India within a year.

Musk has in the past blamed India’s tax regulations and tariffs for delaying Tesla’s foray into the country.

“Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately,” he said on Twitter in March 2018. “Deepak Ahuja, our CFO, is from India. Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should.”

Ahuja has since left the company.