Weekends are usually meant for a light read. Or it’s perhaps time to get to the last chapter of a novel that has consumed you. Or immerse ourselves in badminton, laughter yoga and beach football. But if a US carmaker becomes a talking point on weekends, there must be something deeply intriguing about the story. On Saturday, the world appeared to be researching, discussing, and reading up on Tesla, which was trending with 5k+ searches. The US car market has automakers with pedigree such as Chevrolet and Ford. But Tesla is now the flavour of the auto industry. And more so in India’s auto sector, following the recent strategic alliance for battery distribution and sales between Tesla Power USA and Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOCL).
For those who came in late, Tesla Power batteries will be available at IOCL fuel pumps in the Delhi-NCR region and subsequently expanded to other states.
Called a game-changer in the renewable energy industry, Tesla Inc has been contributing to a shift towards a sustainable future. From electric to battery-powered vehicles, Tesla has laid the template for innovative technology. Auto industries have been keenly following its approach to manufacturing with minimal environmental impact.
Tesla’s sleek, electric plug-in luxury sedan, Model S, premiered in 2013 and priced at $89,490, was ranked the best-in-class in that category. A near-perfect score of 99 out of 100 from consumer reports is unheard of, but Tesla achieved this number. The electric plug-in car was named the best car ever tested.
Commenting on the hold Tesla has had on the global consciousness, Statistareports that Tesla “was ranked as the most valuable automotive brand worldwide as of June 2022 and within the fifteen most valuable brands across all industries in 2021.
“That same year, Tesla led the plug-in electric vehicle market in sales. Most of its models are electric passenger cars, particularly sedans and crossover vehicles. However, plans to release Tesla’s first electric light-duty truck in 2023 are underway after various production pushbacks. Globally, Tesla’s vehicle deliveries reached a record 935,950 units in 2021 and have been steadily growing year-over-year as of the second quarter of 2022 despite the global automotive semiconductor shortage.”
Going from strength to strength, Tesla’s Model 3, a plug-in electric vehicle (EV) model, touched one million in global sales in June 2021. This, we may recall, was despite chip shortages and the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic.
In June 2021, Tesla’s Model 3 became the first electric car to pass one million global sales. The model was the world’s best-selling plug-in electric vehicle (EV) model in 2021, the most successful financial year in the company’s history. Statista adds, “Around 607,600 plug-in electric light vehicles were sold in the US in 2021—almost double the sales in 2020.”
Parallels with China, another automotive supremo, are understandable. China has laid claims of being the largest vehicle fleet in 2021, Tesla’s golden year. China’s EV giant BYD had also been capturing the market share and, according to Statista, sold over 1,83,400 more vehicles than Tesla between January and July 2022.
Meanwhile, Tesla enthusiasts in India have become impatient and understandably so. Why is it that the brand hardly has any presence in India? Standing in the way of the alliance is Elon Musk, the CEO of the automotive giant. Musk had said that Tesla will not enter the Indian markets unless the brand’s vehicles are allowed to be sold and serviced in the country locally. But Tesla aficionados are brimming with optimism, so much so that Musk’s decision to follow PM Narendra Modi is perceived as a hint that the US auto giant is preparing to enter the Indian market. Tesla Power’s pact with IOCL has only added to the belief.
Given the market trends over the last 10 days, they might have to wait. CNBC recently reported that “Tesla shares fell more than 10% after the company reported a more than 20% drop in both EPS and net income compared with the year-ago quarter.”
A certain section of the media reported that over the last month, Tesla’s market valuation decreased by $140 billion. As of now, it has a market cap of $520.78 billion, according to the Companies Market Cap. The media report has also highlighted that the company’s entry-level model has become less than $40,000, which was earlier around $62,990. Similarly, Model S and Model X have become cheaper by up to 20%. According to the figures till March 31, 2023, Tesla produced 17,000 more vehicles at the same time last year, though the profit decreased by 24%.
If Tesla must launch itself in the Indian market, it could do so with a bang after consolidating itself in the auto market again. And these days, Musk seems to be intensely focused on Twitter, of which he is the CEO too, and its blue tick policies. The blue tick on Tesla in India, while inevitable, may not be his focus right away.
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