Tesla scouting factory locations in India, and already producing vehicles for imports

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Local reports in India claim that Tesla is already scouting factory locations in the country and started producing vehicles for imports.

Last month, we reported that India finally came up with a compromise on its high import duties on cars to open the door for Tesla and other EV automakers to launch in the country.

The deal involves greatly reducing import duties for a limited number of electric vehicles as long as the automaker makes a significant investment and commitment to build an electric vehicle factory in India.

Just a few weeks after announcing the new program, it looks like Tesla is already looking to take advantage of it.

The Financial Times reports that Tesla is preparing to send a team to scout for a factory location this month:

Tesla will this month send a team to scout locations in India for a proposed $2bn-$3bn electric car plant, according to two people with direct knowledge of the electric vehicle company’s plans.

The automaker will reportedly “focus on states with existing automotive hubs, including Maharashtra and Gujarat in the west and Tamil Nadu in the south.”

Separately, Reuters reports that Tesla has already started producing right-hand drive cars out of Gigafactory Berlin for the Indian market:

Tesla has begun production of right-hand drive cars at its plant in Germany for export to India later this year, three people aware of the company’s plans told Reuters, as it moves ahead with a possible entry into the world’s third-largest car market.

This is a bit more surprising as Tesla generally builds Superchargers and service centers before starting to bring cars to the market.

Furtermore, Tesla didn’t open orders in India just.

Electrek’s Take

I would take these reports with a grain of salt for the reasons mentioned above. However, it does make sense for Tesla to move into the Indian market soon.

While the program announced by the government last month was explicitly about Tesla, the automaker was known to be negotiating for a similar compromise over the last few years.

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