After Tesla CEO Elon Musk commented last week that the automaker was still navigating through various “challenges” with the Indian government, speculation whether the EV maker would ever enter the market began to come into play.
However, despite a long-lasting standstill with the Indian government, caused mainly by a disagreement of necessary terms, politicians from various Indian states Tweeted Musk to entice the CEO of Tesla to build a manufacturing hub in the country. To secure a manufacturing hub in India, there are still various hurdles that the government and Tesla must work through, and politicians are willing to help.
K. T. Rama Rao, the Industry & Commerce Minister of Telangana state in India, offered Musk and Tesla an open invitation to build a new factory in his state. “Our state is a champion in sustainability initiatives & a top notch business destination in India, he said.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, a retired Cricket player turned politician, offered Musk the State of Punjab’s largest City, Ludhiana, as a potential landing spot for the automaker’s fifth EV production facility. Sidhu said Tesla’s investment into EVs and batteries could bring a substantial economic injection to the area through new, sustainable employment opportunities, environmental preservation, and sustainable development.
Jayant Patil, an Indian politician from the State of Maharashtra, said the area is “one of the most progressive states” in the country. Patil believes the politicians of Maharashtra, where Tesla has been linked in the past, would work with other government agencies to get Tesla established in India.
Finally, M B Patil from Karnataka said his area would help push for the development of industries and employment. “We are the knowledge capital of India, not just IT capital. The next decades are about EV, AI, and Robotics,” Patil Tweeted to Musk. Karnataka has been the discussion of a potential Tesla plant in the past.
Tesla has had intentions to enter India ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla’s Fremont Factory in Northern California in 2015. However, various disagreements about how Tesla could enter the market effectively have prevented this. While plenty of areas are willing to bring Tesla in, the real bottleneck lies in India’s import taxes on vehicles manufactured elsewhere. Tesla is unwilling to enter a large market without additional evidence that it could succeed in India. Musk has indicated in the past that Tesla would commit to an Indian Gigafactory if imports could be sent to the country to test demand. India’s focus on reviving the country’s sluggish manufacturing sector has prevented the Government from committing to these plans.
Update 2:45 PM EST: Added Tweet of K. T. Rama Rao, an Indian politician serving as the Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries & Commerce, and Information Technology of Telangana.
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