Ashok Leyland ready to ride on Elon Musk's India dream 

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. 


Mumbai:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk who has been moving back and forth on his India dream for couple of years and unable to take the next big step now has an invitation from commercial vehicles major Ashok Leyland.

 

Musk wants to make India his next big market but the question lingers: Will the electric car ever run on the bumpy 'desi' roads? 

 

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 IANS on the sidelines of the just-concluded AWS India Summit here in the financial capital. 

 

"I go back to the organisation's philosophy and culture. Whenever we see new technology, we like to try it out, just like a small kid who sees a new toy and wants to experiment. We are open in terms of technology adoption -- anything that adds value to our customers," Natarajan noted. 

 

Ashok Leyland's offer must be a sweet news to Musk's ears. Breaking his silence over India plans after 10 months, Musk tweeted in March that he would love to be in India in 2019 or next year. 

 

"Would love to be there this year. If not, definitely next! India," Musk tweeted to a user. 
 

"Would love to be in India. Some challenging government regulations, unfortunately," Musk tweeted in response to a Twitter user who wrote "No Tesla in India" on his Twitter handle. 

 

Earlier this year, Tesla's Indian-origin Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja announced his retirement from the firm, bringing Musk's India dream to a halt again. 

 

Tesla was expected to enter India with the Model 3 that sells for nearly $35,000. 

 

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla headquarters at Palo Alto, California and met Musk who gave Modi a tour of the company's electric car plant. 

 

In January this year, Musk laid the foundation of Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai -- the first-ever outside the US -- that is expected to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year and double the production capacity. 


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