Elon Musk reignited Tesla Gigafactory India rumors with one simple move on Twitter just two days ago.
Musk followed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter once again on Monday, reigniting rumors that the CEO could entertain a potential production facility in the country once again.
— Big Tech Alert (@BigTechAlert) April 10, 2023
For years, it has been rumored that Tesla would build a new production facility in India.
After Musk and Modi met at Tesla’s Fremont Factory in Northern California in 2015, the two were rumored to speak of a potential partnership that would see Tesla bring its all-electric vehicles to India for the first time.
There was relatively no movement on the Tesla-India partnership until late 2020 and early 2021. Tesla made several moves to establish a production facility in India and had even landed on Karnataka for a Gigafactory where it would build all-electric vehicles.
Tesla had also established a team of executives to run the India operation.
However, Tesla and India were never able to come to an agreement on how to test demand in the country.
Tesla was willing to commit to building a production facility in the country if it could import vehicles from China or Germany to assess demand. India has amongst the largest import duties globally, and Tesla customers would have to pay nearly double the price of the car to get it inside of the country.
Tesla pushed to have import duties rolled back during the trial phase, but Indian government officials were unwilling to make company-specific rules. Politicians were also unfavorable of importing vehicles for customers that were built in China.
Tesla could have had the import duties given, but it would have had to commit to the Gigafactory, and it was unwilling to do this without the rollbacks being solidified beforehand. The standstill ultimately stagnated any talks of Tesla coming to the country.
Musk’s follow on Twitter of Narendra Modi may seem like a small and relatively unimportant step, but the CEO has a tendency to follow those who he is sharing dialogue with at that time. Additionally, he will unfollow those who he has eliminated a relationship with professionally.
Tesla is expanding into new territories with a recently announced Gigafactory in Mexico, and a new production facility in India would only help the company grow and continue to expand its footprint.
Whether Tesla will come to terms with India for a Gigafactory or import duty reductions remains to be seen. It is important to note that several Tesla vehicles have been approved for sale in India already, which would make the company’s arrival into the market easy.
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