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Popular automaker calls out Tesla ahead of the company's launch in a new market: '[Tesla] does not faze us'

Indian consumers will purchase more than 10 million EVs by 2030.


Photo Credit: iStock

Indian automaker Mahindra recently snapped back at anyone who thinks the company is intimidated by Tesla entering the country's electric vehicle market.

"We've seen tremendous competition in India over the last 20 years," Anish Shah, the managing director and CEO of Mahindra Group, told CNBC's Street Signs Asia. "So Tesla or anyone else coming in does not faze us."

He added that Mahindra continues to grab nearly 50% of the market share in India's light commercial vehicle segment despite global competition. 

Tesla is currently discussing a factory plan for a new $24,000 car with India's commerce minister. If it can achieve that price point, it would put the company in direct competition with domestic EVs like the Mahindra XUV400 and Tata Nexon EV Max, reported The Times of India.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he had plans to make significant investments in the country. "I am confident Tesla will be in India, and we'll do so as soon as humanly possible," Musk said following his meeting with Modi.

Meanwhile, India's EV market is growing. 

Mahindra recently raised $145 million for its EV unit and expects EVs to account for 20-30% of its total SUV sales by 2027. 

Indian consumers will purchase more than 10 million EVs by 2030, according to a 2022 report by management consulting firm Arthur D. Little.

Currently, the adoption rate of EVs in the country is only about 2%, in part because of a lack of infrastructure, the report said. However, the firm expects that number to jump to more than 30% across all vehicle classes by 2030.

In the long run, India's burgeoning electric war with Tesla could turn out to be good for consumers and the environment, according to The Times of India.

"Firstly, the arrival of an affordable Tesla would create more competition, which will force other EV brands to improve their products and price them more competitively," the news organization commented

It went on to say, "They would also need to improve their respective EV architectures and technologies, which means more people will adopt electric cars and move towards carbon neutrality without having to empty their bank accounts.

"Mahindra doesn't seem to see it as a war at all, however, with Shah telling CNBC, "At one point, Mahindra was written off when all the global majors were coming into India. Today, we continue to have the number one market share in SUVs from a revenue standpoint."

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