There was already chatter of an “electrifying” development over the past few days with market participants suggesting that the rise in Tata Motors shares was also the result of talk of a deal with Tesla.
Adding spice to this speculation was a cheeky – though now deleted – tweet from the official handle of Tata Motors Electric Mobility. “Aajkal tere mere pyaar ke charche har akhbaar mein, Sab ko malum hai aur sab ko khabar ho gayi! #WelcomeTesla #TeslaIndia (which translates to ‘The media is abuzz with our romance; its out in the public now’),” it tweeted a little after noon on Friday, while tagging Tesla and its founder ElonMusk.
As market players took notice, the tweet was deleted. When contacted, a Tata Motors spokesperson said, “We have not taken any decision regarding a strategic partner for our PV business and categorically deny all rumours suggesting the same.”
Shares of Tata Motors have been shooting up over the Tesla speculation and also on the rapidly improving position of the company’s market share and sales. On Friday, the company’s shares opened at Rs 246, marginally higher than its Thursday close, rallied over 7% to Rs 265 and closed at Rs 260, up 6% on the day.
In the last three months, the stock has more than doubled from its October 15, 2020 close at Rs 127. The stock has been rallying, according to market players, on expectations of a scrappage policy that will favour auto manufacturers and the closure of the Brexit deal which is expected to favour its international operations. Besides, the rumours surrounding a venture with EV major Tesla Tata Motors, have been driving the stock up.
The company’s standalone sales performance has also been strong, propped by models such as Tiago mini, Nexon compact SUV, Altroz hatch and Harrier SUV. It is also set to re-introduce the Safari SUV, and also a mini car with strong SUV styling.
And this is not all. Tata Motors has also bet heavily on the EV market and currently has two green products – the Tigor entry sedan and the Nexon EV. The company has set an ambitious tone in electrics, saying that it plans to price the green cars at “not more than 15-20% premium” to conventional petrol/diesel vehicles, while giving out a battery range at least in excess of 200km on a single charge.
Also, the company plans to bank on the group’s strength across various technologies to spruce up its electric business, something which may also be an attraction for Tesla which has no exposure at all to India so far.
Tata Motors has joined hands with other group companies such as Tata Power (for charging infra), Tata AutoComp (battery packs for EVs) and Tata Chemicals (lithium-ion battery cells) to make a strong eco-system for electrics.
Tesla on the other hand has been eyeing the India market for long, something evident from Musk’s tweets over the past few years. However, it seems to have firmed up a plan only now as it registered a subsidiary in Bangalore after which Musk – who recently became the richest man on the planet — also tweeted, “As promised.”