Tesla’s long and relatively uneventful quest to build and sell the company’s all-electric vehicles in India continues to show a game of finger-pointing as Indian government officials say they are confused as to why the company has not applied for any PLI scheme incentives that could benefit the automaker economically.
India has several Production Linked Incentive schemes that benefit the manufacturing of eco-friendly cars, automotive components, and battery cells in the country. The company qualifies for several schemes, according to a government official, who said that Tesla has not applied to any. The official maintains that Tesla wants India to concede its wants in the potential deal without committing to any manufacturing facility in the country.
“They (Tesla) have not applied. Tesla can avail of benefits under the PLI schemes for the auto sector, for making advanced chemistry cells, but the company wants concessional duties without showing any commitment to produce here,” a senior government source said to Economic Times of India.
Indian government schemes have offered companies incentives of up to 18 percent to encourage automotive and parts manufacturers to build locally using local talent. Not interested in offloading domestic jobs to foreign countries to save money, India has built a core of financial incentive programs that intend to complement all parties involved. Twenty companies, including Hyundai Motor India, Suzuki Motor Gujarat, and Mahindra & Mahindra, have already submitted investment proposals to the PLI scheme.
Teslarati reported last month that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” program, which intended to boost local manufacturing efforts, would likely benefit both Tesla and the Indian government. However, an agreement cannot seem to be reached.
India is still waiting for Tesla to submit its complete plans for the country. The automaker seems unwilling to move forward unless government officials are interested in rolling back hefty duties that apply to any imported vehicle. “The government wants to enable Tesla to manufacture vehicles in India. But they have to first submit firm business plans,” the official added.
Indian officials have spoken out on numerous occasions regarding Tesla’s request for reduced import duties.
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