The India launch of Tesla, the world’s largest electric car maker, could be a reality soon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing US tour is expected to further the process as he plans to meet Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk on the sidelines. The two companies’ second meeting in recent years is significant after the electric car maker’s executive team recently met with Indian officials in an attempt to restart investment talks. In recent talks, Tesla reportedly proposed in May to build a manufacturing plant in India, its second in Asia after China, according to reports.
The US-based EV maker is reportedly looking to assemble its EVs in India. To reduce its reliance on China, Tesla is looking for new avenues in Asia. Its executive team was in New Delhi last month, where it reportedly proposed building a local supplier base. Tesla currently uses its supplier base in China, the electric carmaker’s largest market outside of its home base. If Tesla decides to start production in India, then it will need to relocate suppliers.
Tesla has also reportedly offered to build a manufacturing plant in India. Although it has not been officially confirmed, Elon Musk has said that the location of Tesla’s new factory in Asia, outside of China, may be finalized by the end of this year. He also hinted that the facility could be located in India. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar had earlier said, “They are very serious about India as a production and innovation base.”
Tesla’s renewed interest in doing business in India is seen as a departure from its stance of considering lower import duties. Previous talks between the electric carmaker and the center stalled after the government refused to accept Tesla’s demand to reduce import duties before it began selling its electric vehicles such as the Model 3 and Model S in India. If Tesla wants to sell electric vehicles here, the center has suggested that Tesla build a local manufacturing plant. 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.
First published date: Jun 20, 2023 at 11:26 AM CST