India on Musk’s radar as Tesla hunts for factory site


Days after a team from Tesla visited India, company founder and CEO Elon met musk has hinted that India is on the electric car maker’s radar to build a new factory.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Musk said the electric car maker will do so choose A fresh A site for a new factory is to be found by the end of this year, adding that India could be an interesting location for such an expansion.
When asked which country is currently the most exciting country to build a Tesla plant, Musk said, “We announced that Mexico would be our next location outside of the US. We will probably decide on another location towards the end of this year.”
Asked if India was an “interesting” candidate for the move, he said: “Absolutely.”
Musk’s words, while noncommittal about India, sparked speculation that the electric carmaker might finally be seriously considering the country, especially since he had previously expressed a desire to launch his cars here, despite not wanting to complained about “challenges” and high standards import compulsory.
The visit from the Tesla team a week ago only added to the excitement, which is also gaining credibility as the government has also been open about bringing the company to India. Previously, the company had tentatively sought a cut in import duties on bringing cars into the country.
Last week Minister of State for IT and Electronics Rajeev Chandrasekhar said TOI that executives from Tesla headquarters had a meeting with certain parts of the government where they were encouraged to consider investing here.
“Yes, they had meetings with the government. We have expressed that we are interested in them investing in India and that we will work with them to build their facilities here,” said Chandrasekhar. “We told them that India is now a trusted destination for all players in the electronics and electric vehicle supply chains.”
Tesla conducted extensive market research into the sale of its cars in India around two years ago, but decided last year not to pursue the case after failing to provide special incentives from the government.
The company had lobbied for import tariff concessions to bring its cars directly into the country, but the government refused to play along, citing other companies like Mercedes-Benz, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra that make green products locally.
The government has also remained dovish on Tesla amid reports that the company may be importing cars from its plant in China, which is seen as a restricted area amid rising tensions.
India currently levies a 100% duty on imports of complete cars with a CIF (cost, insurance and freight) value of more than US$40,000 and 60% on cars costing less than that amount.

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