Elon Musk to meet PM Modi, announce Tesla plans for India

Elon Musk will meet Modi in the week of April 22 in New Delhi, and will separately make an announcement about his India plans, said the two sources
Tesla Elon Musk Narendra Modi
Musk and Modi last met in New York in June, and Tesla for months lobbied India to lower import taxes on electric vehicles while it weighed up a factory there.
Tesla Elon Musk Narendra Modi
Musk and Modi last met in New York in June, and Tesla for months lobbied India to lower import taxes on electric vehicles while it weighed up a factory there.

Tesla chief Elon Musk will visit India this month to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is expected to make an announcement on plans to invest and open a new factory in the country, two sources with direct knowledge said.

The billionaire will meet Modi in the week of April 22 in New Delhi, and will separately make an announcement about his India plans, said the two sources, who declined to be named as the trip details are confidential.

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Modi's office and Tesla did not respond to requests for comment. Musk's final India trip agenda could still change.

Musk would be visiting India just as it heads into a two-month-long election with nearly a billion voters, starting April 19, in which Modi is widely seen winning a rare third term.

A Tesla investment announcement during the election would bolster the business-friendly credentials of Modi, who has for years courted foreign companies to set up manufacturing operations in India and create jobs.

The Tesla CEO will be accompanied by other executives during his visit, said the first source.

Musk and Modi last met in New York in June, and Tesla for months lobbied India to lower import taxes on electric vehicles while it weighed up a factory there. India last month unveiled a new EV policy lowering import taxes to 15 per cent from 100% on some models if a manufacturer invests at least $500 million and sets up a factory too.

Reuters has previously reported that Tesla officials are expected to visit India this month to look at sites for a manufacturing plant that would require an investment of about $2 billion.

Tesla has also begun production of right-hand drive cars at its German plant for export to India later this year, sources have said.

Musk said this week on X that "India should have electric cars like every other country has electric cars. It's a natural progression to provide Tesla electric vehicles in India".

Tesla's push into India comes as slowing EV demand in its main U.S. and Chinese markets coincides with intensifying competition from Chinese automakers. Tesla reported a drop in first-quarter deliveries that missed analyst estimates.

India's EV market is small but growing and dominated by local carmaker Tata Motors. EVs made up just 2 per cent of total car sales in 2023. The government is targeting 30 per cent by 2030.

First Published Date: 10 Apr 2024, 19:24 PM IST
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