Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and the Minister of MSMEs Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that the Elon Musk-owned clean energy and electric vehicle company - Tesla is expected to "start operations" in India early next year.
"India is going to become a number 1 manufacturing hub for auto in five years," Gadkari said during a media event.
Gadkari explained that there is a push for electricity-powered cars in the country. He added that currently a lot of companies are working on electric vehicles that would be more affordable for the public. He noted that these cars would just be as advanced as those manufactured by US electric vehicle giant Tesla.
Gadkari said Tesla will enter the Indian market first with sales but in the future the company might also look at assembly and manufacturing based on the response to its cars by the public.
Earlier in October, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, had hinted in a tweet that the company will enter the Indian market next year. "Next year for sure," Musk had replied when a Twitter handle called Tesla Club India asked him about Tesla coming to India.
The first model that is expected to go on sale in India is one of Tesla's more affordable cars - Tesla Model 3.