The proposal comes after talks between Tesla and India were deadlocked last year over the car maker’s request to lower the import tax on cars
By: Chandrashekar Bhat
Tesla Inc. asked how it could take part in domestic incentives in India related to car and battery manufacturing when it held discussions with government officials this week, a source with direct knowledge of the talks said.
The electric car maker proposed setting up a factory in India to build electric vehicles (EV) and also discussed plans to locally manufacture EV batteries, the person said.
The proposal comes after talks between Tesla and India were deadlocked last year over the car maker’s request to lower the import tax on cars, which can reach as much as 100 per cent. India wanted the car maker to build vehicles locally but Tesla wanted to test the market first with imports.
Tesla also discussed India’s import taxes on cars but talks mainly centred around understanding the local policies and incentives to set up a new factory, said the source, who declined to be named as the talks were private.
In May last year, Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted that his company “will not put a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell & service cars.”
His comment followed Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari’s statement that if Tesla was ready to manufacture vehicles in India, then there was ‘no problem’ but the company must not import cars from China.
Previously, heavy industries minister Krishan Pal Gurjar had said there could not be a situation where the market was India but jobs were created in China.
(With inputs from Reuters)