Elon Musk to invest in India after meeting PM Modi during US visit

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Tesla’s launch in India may now be just a matter of days. The world’s largest electric vehicle maker has officially expressed interest in investing in India “as soon as possible”. Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, during which he discussed the electric carmaker’s approach to doing business in the country. The development is significant as Tesla has finally reversed its previous stance that it would not sell its EVs in India unless the government lowered import duties.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is seen meeting with U.S. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ongoing visit.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk was specifically asked whether the U.S. electric carmaker would launch its products in India after meeting Prime Minister Modi in New York. He didn’t promise what Tesla is currently looking for. According to Reuters, citing sources, Musk briefed Modi on Tesla’s plan to establish a manufacturing base in India. Earlier, when Tesla’s executive team met Indian officials in New Delhi last month, a similar proposal was reportedly made.

“We don’t want to rush the announcement, but I think it’s likely to be a significant investment in our relationship with India,” Musk told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Modi, who also said he planned to visit India next year. “I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his support and hopefully we will be able to announce something in the near future,” he added.

The launch of Tesla in India is seen as a strategy for the electric carmaker to reduce its reliance on China for its supply chain and EV batteries. China is Tesla’s largest market outside of its home country. India could provide an alternative market for the electric car maker, providing cheap labor and resources to help it set up a manufacturing plant. In May, Elon Musk said Tesla would finalize a location for a new factory by the end of the year, saying it could be in India.

Tesla does not sell its electric vehicles in India due to high import duties. However, Musk acknowledged that India has strong potential in electric vehicles and battery technology. Globally, Tesla offers some of the best-selling electric vehicles such as the Model 3, Model S, Model Y, and Model X.

First published date: Jun 21, 2023 at 08:48 AM EST

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