Tesla apparent lower import tariffs in India opposed by German auto: report

Credit: Piyush Goyal/X

Tesla has been trying to enter India for several years now, but despite making progress in the past, the electric vehicle maker has so far been unable to start its operations in the country. This seems to be changing soon, as reports have emerged suggesting that the Indian government might be willing to give Tesla lower import duties if the EV maker also invests in a local manufacturing facility within a stipulated period of time.

This deal, as per a recent report from The Times of India, has reportedly seen some opposition from Germany. As per the publication, the German government is reportedly planning to file a protest over the Indian government’s potential pro-Tesla measure since it fears that automakers like the Volkswagen Group, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW may lose in a “one-sided effort to promote just one brand.”

The German government has reportedly started working on a communication that would be submitted to the Indian government, particularly the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). The DPIIT is a key player in India’s efforts to secure an investment from Tesla. 

“We are preparing our views on the matter, and are in touch with local officials of the German car companies in India, while also taking up the issue with the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA),” the Times of India’s sources reportedly noted. 

India’s government has maintained that the potential adjustments to its auto sector will not be focused on just one or two players. Instead, it would be put in place for the entire automotive segment. It will also follow discussions with domestic and international automakers that are operating in the country. Despite this, German authorities reportedly still view the potential setup as disadvantageous to its automakers. 

“Our companies were some of the early investors in India, bringing in massive funds, technology, and jobs here. It would be unfair to leave them out of any subsidized regime just because they will not make fresh investments like a new player such as Tesla… We need a level playing field and one that recognizes those companies, which have already invested here in green technologies,” one of the publication’s sources noted. 

Previous reports have noted that the Indian government is considering a proposal that could result in import duties on electric vehicles being adjusted to just about 15% against a peak duty of 100%. The adjustment is reportedly being considered to attract companies like Tesla, as well as other key players in the electric vehicle sector. 

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Tesla apparent lower import tariffs in India opposed by German auto: report
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