Hinduja Controlled Ashok Leyland Open To Tesla partnership for India

Elon Musk has time and again hinted his dream to enter the Indian market through tweets but so far no plans have been officially been drawn to make this a reality.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk who has been moving back and forth to open shop in India has just received some good news. India’s commercial vehicle major, Ashok Leyland has formally invited Musk in India.

According to Venkatesh Natarajan, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Ashok Leyland, the company is open to Musk for a partnership to finally let Indians experience his path-breaking autonomous Tesla electric cars.

“We are open to Musk’s offer. I truly believe that it’s not just one partner who can contribute to the electric car dream in India. There are multiple agencies who will be involved in this. We will be lucky to be part of that consortium,” Natarajan told private Indian news agency IANS on the sidelines of the just-concluded AWS India Summit here in the financial capital.

“We are open in terms of technology adoption — anything that adds value to our customers,” Natarajan noted.

The company’s parent group Hinduja Group, reported a revenue of Rs 6,325 crore in Q3 (FY 2018-19). Year-to-Date (YTD) revenues touched Rs 20,209 crore, up 15 percent over the corresponding period last year.

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Ashok Leyland is touted as India’s largest bus manufacturer and the fourth largest in the world, the company reported 10 percent rise in the domestic vehicles sales at 13,141 units in April 2019. The commercial vehicles company had sold 11,951 vehicles in the domestic market during the same month last year.

The news is sweeter for Elon, who blamed the Indian government’s policies for giving up on his India dreams. He also blamed the FDI norms for the delay in the electric car maker’s entry into the Indian market. In November 2018, Musk had hinted that his company has plans to establish a ‘partial presence’ in India, Africa, and South America by the end of next year with an aim to expand further in 2020.

After this, it remains to be seen whether Elon musk takes up Ashok Leyland’s offer and how? With Tesla’s Gigafactory taking form in Shanghai, we hope that Indian dreams for Tesla’s iconic cars are not that far away.


Incidentally, Ashok Leyland is considered a much stronger player in South India, a region that is increasingly moving well ahead of the North and Eastern parts of the country, when it comes to key metrics like per capita income and quality of infrastructure, a key factor for Tesla’s premium priced vehicles  to work in any market.

With inputs from agencies

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