Elon Musk’s Plan for EV Imports is Welcomed in India

Tesla has been coveting the Indian auto market for a few years, but has refused to sell the popular EV series due to requirements imposed by the government.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s efforts to sell his popular electric vehicles in India were thwarted again on Saturday when a Union minister said the American automaker and its vehicles are welcome in India only if they follow the policies of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat,’ or self-reliant India.

“The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi has moved ahead swiftly on the Aatmanirbhar Bharat policy and received a very good response on it, and we are not going to compromise on it in any way,” Union minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Mahendra Nath Pandey said at a television channel’s Global Summit on Saturday. Elon Musk and Tesla are welcome in India, but only if they follow the country’s policies.”

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The speculation about Tesla entering the Indian auto market began in August of last year, when Musk responded to a user’s tweet by saying that if Tesla succeeds with imported automobiles in the country initially, it may set up a manufacturing operation there.

Last month, though, Musk replied to another user, saying, “Tesla would not build a factory in any location where we are not authorised to sell and service cars initially.”

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Tesla has been requesting a reduction in import charges in order to sell its vehicles in India, but the company’s founder has stated that he will not manufacture the company’s products in India until it is first authorised to sell and service its vehicles there.

According to Reuters, a key executive at the heart of Tesla’s lobbying effort in India recently left after the US automaker chose to halt ambitions to sell electric vehicles in the country.

Manuj Khurana was reportedly appointed as a policy and business development officer at Tesla in India in March 2021, when the company was attempting to push its domestic market-entry strategy.

India currently charges a 100% import duty on fully imported cars with a CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) value of more than $40,000 and a 60% levy on those costing less.

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