Tesla drives into Bengaluru

Tesla has made its debut in India. On January 8, it registered a company named Tesla India Motors and Energy in Bengaluru. It’s not clear what exactly the company will do — R&D, sales or manufacturing. Founder Elon Musk, the world’s second richest man, had indicated last year that Tesla would start selling its cars in India in 2021.

Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari had said in December that Tesla will commence sales in India in 2021, and would evaluate assembly or manufacturing based on the market response it receives. The US electric car maker is also known to be doing R&D in association with at least one of the auto engineering companies in Bengaluru.

The registered company has three directors — Vaibhav Taneja, Venkatrangam Sreeram, and David Feinstein. Taneja is chief accounting officer at Tesla. Feinstein is senior director of global trade and new markets — finance at Tesla. Sreeram’s status is not clear.

He had co-founded ClearQuote, an app that assesses damages on vehicles instantly based on smartphone images or videos.

Tesla India Motors and Energy has an authorised capital of Rs 15 lakh and has its registered office on Lavelle Road in Bengaluru’s central business district. Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa tweeted on Tuesday that Tesla would soon start operations in India with an R&D unit in Bengaluru, but deleted it shortly after. It is not clear why he deleted it.

Gaurav Gupta, principal secretary in the Karnataka industries department, described Tesla’s entry as a phenomenal development for India.

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