Tesla Inc. co-founder and CEO Elon Musk on Saturday said he wanted to launch cars in India but lamented that import duties in the country are “highest in the world by far of any large country”. He, however, added that if Tesla is able to get some temporary tariff relief, it would likely set up a factory in India.
Musk was responding to a tweet by a user who asked him to launch Tesla cars in India as soon as possible.
To this, Musk replied: “We want to do so, but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country! Moreover, clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India.”
We want to do so, but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 23, 2021
Moreover, clean energy vehicles are treated the same as diesel or petrol, which does not seem entirely consistent with the climate goals of India.
In a subsequent tweet, Musk said, “But we are hopeful that there will be at least temporary tariff relief for imported vehicles. That would be much appreciated.”
When asked by another Twitter user whether Tesla will locally assemble vehicles in India, the American billionaire said if Tesla succeeds with imported vehicles, then a factory in India is quite likely.
A host of luxury car manufacturers have already lobbied with the Indian government to reduce the import duties with little success.
Gadkari says golden opportunity for Tesla to manufacture electric cars in India
Earlier in April 2021, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that American electric car major Tesla has a golden opportunity to set up its manufacturing facility in India given the country’s thrust on e-vehicles.
Tesla is already sourcing various auto components from Indian automakers and setting up base here would be economically viable for it, Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister Gadkari said while addressing a session at the Raisina Dialogue.
Elon Musk confirms Tesla’s entry into India
Earlier in December 2020, Elon Musk had confirmed Tesla’s entry into India. Musk said Tesla would start its operations in India in 2021, however, he added that January 2021 timelines were not possible.
A few months before, in October 2020, too, Musk had confirmed that his company’s plan to launch operations in India from the next year. While responding to a tweet about when Tesla plans to enter the Indian market, Elon responded, “Next year for sure.”