For the last several years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly said that the company would soon arrive in India. But we've come a long way from the time the topic first came up in April 2016, while the Model 3 was being unveiled, with the timeline gradually becoming shorter.
And as the company registered itself in Bengaluru a few days ago, it would seem that Musk is well aware of the many times he had vowed to bring Tesla to India. "As promised," he tweeted in response to a news article.
In 2017, Musk had revealed that Tesla was in talks with the Indian government requesting temporary relief on import sanctions until a local factory could be built. The government was not very receptive, and the idea soon fizzled out. But Musk had not quite dismissed the idea.
"Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately. Deepak Ahuja, our CFO, is from India. Tesla will be there as soon as he believes we should," he tweeted in 2018 upon being asked by a Twitter user.
"I’m told import duties are extremely high (up to 100%), even for electric cars. This would make our cars unaffordable," he tweeted in August 2019, adding in a follow-up post that "recent changes in sales tax give hope for future changes."
In 2020, Musk raised hopes once again after telling Twitter users that Tesla's entrance "should hopefully be soon". "Next year for sure," he told another user in October 2020.
Now, it would seem that the wait is finally over. While there is no official launch date thus far, it is presumed that Tesla cars will be made available in India in the first half of the year - possibly before June 2021. And if one goes by Musk's promises over the last few years, the dates certainly do seem to sync.