Tesla eyeing Gujarat for India base, announcement ‘very soon’, confirms minister

  • Earlier, reports claimed that Tesla may announce its India entry in January next year during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held in Gandhinagar.
Tesla India Elon Musk Narendra Modi
File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a meeting in New York City on June 20, 2023. (via REUTERS)
Tesla India Elon Musk Narendra Modi
File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a meeting in New York City on June 20, 2023.

Tesla's India launch in January is all but confirmed amid reports of the US-based EV maker's debut has triggered speculations about its timing and possible destination for investment. Reports claim that Tesla could announce its India launch as soon as in January next year during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit and that it is likely to pick Sanand as its base. Now, a minister from the state government has confirmed that Gujarat is Tesla's first choice as destination in India and that an official announcement is possible ‘very soon’.

Rushikesh Patel, Health Minister of Gujarat as well as Spokesperson for the state government, reacted to the reports of Tesla's possible announcement of India launch next month. Patel confirmed media reports that the EV maker is in the final stages of negotiating with the state government for land to set up its manufacturing facility. His remarks come months after SJ Haider, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and Mines Department), had said the Centre is in touch with Tesla to set up a manufacturing facility in India.

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Patel said that the Gujarat state government is ‘very hopeful’ that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, will pick the state for its manufacturing facility. He said, "Even Elon Musk is looking at Gujarat as his first choice. Gujarat is in his mind ever since he began a survey in India to find a suitable location to set up the plant." When asked to confirm the timeline for Tesla's announcement regarding India launch, Patel said, “Perhaps, very soon, an official announcement will be made in this regard. Let us hope Tesla comes to Gujarat. We will definitely welcome it and provide all necessary support, just like we gave Tata, Ford and Suzuki in the past."

Though the minister did not clarify the possible location, it is reported that Tesla is likely to pick Sanand, home to carmakers like Tata Motors, as its India base. According to reports, Tesla had three choices where it could have picked land for its India Gigafactory. Besides Sanand, the other two options were Dholera and Becharaji. However, Tesla is expected to finalise Sanand due to its easy access to the Kandla-Mundra port in Gujarat. Gujarat is also home to some of the other Indian carmakers like Maruti Suzuki and MG Motor.

Tesla had earlier hinted that it is reconsidering its India investment plans after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's last visit to the United States earlier this year during which he met Elon Musk. After this meeting, Musk had also said that he plans to visit India in 2024. Recently, Union Minister Piyush Goyal also visited one of the Tesla facilities in the US. Goyal confirmed Tesla's high stakes in India as it plans to source components worth around $1.9 billion by the end of this year.

Tesla changed its position of not investing in India due to high import duties on electric cars which became a deal-breaker for the US-based EV maker about a year ago. Later, Musk admitted that India has a strong potential for electric vehicles and battery technology. Globally, Tesla offers some of the top-selling electric cars like Model 3, Model S, Model Y and Model X.

First Published Date: 29 Dec 2023, 09:38 AM IST
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