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Tesla-rival Fisker to enter Indian SUV market next year

Elon Musk’s Tesla rival Fisker has announced to enter the Indian market in July next year. The company will sell its Ocean electric sport-utility vehicle (SUV) in the country. It could begin manufacturing its cars locally within a few years to keep the cost of its EV down. “Ultimately, India will go full electric. It may not go as fast as the U.S., China or Europe, but we want to be one of the first ones to come in here,” company’s CEO Fisker said as quoted by new agency Reuters. He added that the company wants to secure a first-mover advantage.

The announcement comes days after Tesla Inc put on hold its plans to enter the Indian EV market after failing to secure a lower import tariff for its cars. Like Fisker, it first wanted to import vehicles to test the market before committing to local manufacturing.

The Ocean retails at around $37,500 in the United States but importing it to India would add logistics costs and a 100% import tax. That would put it out of reach of most buyers in a market where the bulk of cars sold are priced under $15,000.

Electric cars currently make up just 1% of India’s roughly 3 million annual car sales. The government wants to increase this share to 30% by 2030, and is offering companies billions of dollars in incentives to build their EVs and associated parts locally.

Admitting that it is “very expensive” to import vehicles into India, Fisker said that the company wants to use the Ocean to build its brand, with its premium pricing likely to limit numbers. “Ultimately, if you want to have somewhat of a larger volume in India, you almost have to start building a vehicle here or at least do some assembly,” Fisker said.

He said that Fisker’s next EV – the smaller, five-seater PEAR – is being considered for production in India but not before 2026. “If we can get that vehicle just below $20,000 locally in India, that would be ideal. Then I think we’ll get to a certain volume and market share,” he said.

Fisker has a contract manufacturing agreement with Magna International. It will produce the Ocean at its Austrian unit and ship it to India. The company has an agreement with Foxconn to build the PEAR. The company is already scouting for real estate space to open a New Delhi showroom, he said.

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