Tesla, the world’s largest electric carmaker, is expected to finalize the location of the new factory soon. Its chief executive, Elon Musk, said the location could be finalized by the end of the year. On Tuesday, he hinted that India might be the site for the new factory, as he expressed interest in doing business in the country. His comments came nearly a year after he abandoned plans to launch Tesla in India. Their attitude has changed ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to India next month.
In an interview on Tuesday, when Musk was asked if Tesla was interested in the new factory in India, he replied “of course.” Last week, Tesla executives met with Indian officials for two days in New Delhi, where the electric carmaker reportedly proposed building a manufacturing plant and a research and development center. Earlier, Reuters quoted Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar as saying, “They take India very seriously as a production and innovation base.” Promised to build a factory in India.
Earlier, the center had advised Tesla to set up a local manufacturing plant if it wanted to sell electric vehicles in India. India’s Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that India would welcome Tesla if it produced electric vehicles locally instead of importing them from China. Elon Musk rejected the offer, saying, “Tesla will not have a manufacturing plant anywhere that would not allow us to sell and service cars in the first place.” In new talks with PMO officials, Tesla did not Repeat this request.
Tesla’s renewed foray into India is seen as an attempt by the electric carmaker to diversify away from China, its largest market outside the United States. Several automakers, including Tesla, may be forced to find new destinations for their electric vehicle business in the future amid rising U.S.-China tensions. In addition to components, battery manufacturing in China is key to the global EV business. India may be an alternative market where the government is eager to promote local manufacturing.
First published date: May 24, 2023 at 09:05 AM CST