Tesla ‘Serious’ On Establishing India Production, Innovation Base
Though Tesla and the Indian government have been in disagreement over the former’s request about concession on import duty, the EV maker seems to be serious about entering the Indian market through a manufacturing base in the country.
Reuters quoted Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar saying, “They are very seriously looking at India as a production and innovation base.”
He further added that during the meeting with Tesla, India has signalled to the officials that the government is working together and will ‘certainly’ offer facilities to enable them to achieve whatever ambitions Tesla has about India.
The US-based EV maker’s executives were in India to meet government officials yesterday (May 19), to discuss plans and future course of actions.
In addition to the plans of setting up a manufacturing plant in India, Elon Musk is also considering procurement of local components. According to the Reuters report, Tesla also discussed incentives for car and battery manufacturing among others.
The Elon Musk-led EV manufacturer also seems to be looking forward to manufacturing car batteries in the proposed plant.
Commenting on the topics of the meeting, Chandrasekhar said, “You don’t talk about cars alone…You talk about cars, you talk about energy, you talk about manufacturing technology. So all of that figures in the conversation. What they will want to do in India, it’s too far for me (to tell) and it’s not for me to say.”
Though no talks on lowering the import duty seems to have been discussed, Tesla reportedly wanted to export its products to India before setting up the plant, to test the market.
The primary reasons for the government to decline Tesla’s request about lowering the import duty was that the Indian startups and manufacturers complying with the current tax regime could get discouraged. So, India did not consider offering a special status to the EV maker.
Taking a dig at Elon Musk, Ola Electric’s Bhavish Aggarwal said, “Tesla is free to come in and put up a shop here and sell its cars. They just want to be treated differently from others, which I believe is not in the interests of India.”
Though this wasn’t taken well by Musk, his reaction seems to have reversed, citing that the country is home to 21.7 Lakh registered EVs and the consumption is growing rapidly.
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