Elon Musk, are you listening? Ashok Leyland says it's open to Tesla partnership in India
“Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next!” These were Elon Musk’s exact words, back in March, when he hinted about his plans to bring Tesla to the country.
When will we get to test drive a Tesla in India? This is a question that's on everyone's mind. Especially automobile enthusiasts who are excited about the entry of electric variants in the country.
Interestingly enough, Tesla’s India dreams haven’t been squashed by CEO Elon Musk either. If anything, Musk has, on more than one occasion, hinted about his desire to bring his EVs to India.
What seemed like a Twitter frenzy so far seems to be taking on some shape of late. Ashok Leyland, one of India’s biggest commercial vehicle manufacturers, has not only expressed interest in turning Musk’s India dreams into reality, but also sent out an open invite for a partnership to bring Tesla to India.
"We are open to Musk's offer,” Venkatesh Natarajan, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Ashok Leyland, said during the recently-concluded AWS India Summit, news agency IANS reported.
According to Natarajan, the task of getting Musk’s widely-talked-about electric cars would involve participation from multiple players in the market, and Chennai-based Ashok Leyland clearly wants to stay a step ahead in this mission.
“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 said.
He also also outlined the company's strategy when it comes to the adoption of new technology and ultimately its integration towards expanding the business.
"Ultimately, we need more money. We are in the business of making money. As long as we are able to make more money and help our customers generate more money, we are game to every new technology," he added.
Ashok Leyland, considered one of the largest bus manufacturers in India and one of the biggest manufacturers of trucks globally, hinting about a prospective partnership surely opens up newer avenues for Musk and his India dream.
The tech billionaire had also explicitly hinted about expanding to India earlier, suggesting that he is looking at a “partial presence in India, Africa & South America end of next year, with broader expansion in 2020.”
It now remains to be seen how and when this plan and proposal actually materialises.
(This copy has been updated. Attributions to news agency IANS)