Tesla executives to meet India officials today, say reports. What to expect

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had earlier criticised India’s high import taxes and its electric-vehicle policies. India, in turn, had advised Tesla not to sell
Tesla executives are expected to meet Indian officials over the next two days starting May 17, according to reports, in an effort to ensure local procurement of parts and other matters. (REUTERS)
Tesla executives are expected to meet Indian officials over the next two days starting May 17, according to reports, in an effort to ensure local procurement of parts and other matters.

World's largest electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is once again interested in India. According to reports, officials from the US-based EV maker will meet Indian officials for the next two days in New Delhi. The meeting comes just days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States next month. Though none has officially confirmed the meeting between Tesla executives and government officials yet, news agency Reuters quoted a ‘source with direct knowledge of the matter’ confirming it.

Questions are ripe with what is on the table. According to sources quoted by Reuters, the meeting is being held to ‘discuss local procurement of parts and other issues’. In other words, Tesla is looking to locally source EV components for Tesla models. The EV maker usually depends on China to deliver such components. However, according to a Bloomberg report. Tesla aims to ‘deepen the carmaker’s supply chain in the country as it pushes to diversify beyond China’.

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Tesla's renewed interest in India comes almost a year after the EV maker practically stalled the idea of launching its models in the country. The decision, announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself, came after India refused to entertain the EV maker's plea to reduce lower import taxes on its electric cars. The Centre had clearly outlined that it expects Tesla to set up its manufacturing facility here before it will be allowed to sell its EVs in India.

Elon Musk, who said customs duty on imported cars is the highest in the world, denied to follow Centre's plan. He had said, "Tesla will not put a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell and service cars." His reaction came after Tesla went through ‘a lot of challenges with the government’ to push for sales of its products in India.

Earlier, Tesla had deployed a team in India to look for showroom and front its potential EV business in the country. It was later abandoned after Musk hinted Tesla is not interested to set up business in India.

India currently levies customs duty ranging from 60% to 100%, depending on engine size and Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) value less or above $40,000.

First Published Date: 17 May 2023, 09:39 AM IST

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