India Entry for Tesla Without China Connect: Govt

Tesla Inc., which was initially planning to import cars from China due to lower import duties and logistical factors, may now resort to its earlier plans of shipping in products from its mother facilities in the US

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It seems the Union government has made it crystal clear to Tesla that bringing in fully imported or even partly assembled electric cars from China would not be appreciated. Which means Tesla may now have to ship products from its mother facilitie in the US.

While the Palo Alto, California-based firm would be bringing in Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV in the initial phase (2021-22), its next-in-line unchristened compact car (to be priced at US$ 25,000) could also be rolled out from the Indian market if the central government provide adequate support.

“Tesla’s car will be “affordable” when it is launched in India, and it will cost Rs 35 lakh here”, said Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari stated at a Conclave hosted by a leading media group. Gadkari also said that he has communicated to the Tesla officials to not launch a "made in China car" to India. “I have urged Tesla officials not to make the car in China and (then) sell it in India. It is something I had in my mind and I told them. Come to India, make it here, sell it here, and export from here. The government will provide you all the help and support you need,” Gadkari added.

The minister’s remarks come 10 months after he announced the entry of the world's most valuable brand into India.

While Tesla global spokesperson could not be reached for comments, an emailed query sent to its APAC spokesperson to confirm the development could elicit any response until press time.

“Tesla’s entry in India can be the inflection point for electric vehicles in India in passenger vehicle category. The duty structure is already very amicable for EV in India and this added with benefits from state government and Fame 3 scheme will give a run to its competitor in diesel and gasoline segments, stated Puneet Gupta, associate director, IHS Markit had earlier told BW Businessworld.