Tesla India launch in pipeline, says minister ahead of Vibrant Gujarat Summit
- Gujarat minister's remarks come days after his colleague said that Tesla is eyeing Gujarat as its first choice for investment in India.
Tesla's launch in India could be an announcement away as yet another Gujarat state minister confirmed the chances of the US-based electric vehicle manufacturer setting up its business in the state. The minister said Tesla's India debut is under consideration at the top level and that the state government remains positive of an outcome during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit which will be held in Gandhinagar later this month. Earlier, another state minister had said the announcement of Tesla's India entry is expected ‘very soon’.
Talks of Tesla's India launch gathers strength as the Vibrant Gujarat Summit approaches near. On Friday (January 5), Balvantsinh Rajput, Industry Minister of Gujarat, said that high-level talks are going on for potential investment from Elon Musk-owned electric vehicle maker Tesla. "I want to state that Tesla is in the pipeline. Quite a few companies are in touch. Talks are going on at higher levels, and we are positive." he added.
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Earlier, Rushikesh Patel, Health Minister of Gujarat as well as Spokesperson for the state government, had said that an official announcement is possible ‘very soon’. “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," Patel told reporters.
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.
Tesla India launch: From rejection to hope
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.