It was 2016, and Arun Bhat, a 34-year-old manufacturing professional from Bengaluru, could not have been more excited. Tesla, his favorite auto company, has finally opened reservations for its Model 3 cars in India. Shortly after they became available, Bhat booked one.
Now, five years and thousands of dollars later, Bhat is still waiting for his car, and the company hasn’t yet shared any update on when it will deliver vehicles in India. “I keep pestering the firm with my emails to get an update, [but] so far there hasn’t been any,” Bhat, who co-founded India’s first Tesla fan club in 2019, told Quartz. Despite the delay, he hasn’t given up hope on his car—or the company—just yet.
If all goes as planned, Bhat’s wait will soon be over. US-based Tesla plans to begin its journey in India this year, as CEO Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet from another Tesla fan club. So far, the only concrete step Tesla has taken was in January when it registered its subsidiary in the state of Karnataka. But there are signs that the company is doing more; reports have trickled in claiming that Tesla plans to set up R&D facilities in different regions. Tesla itself has not yet publicly confirmed its plans in India and didn’t respond to Quartz’s request for comment.