Tesla’s Elon Musk says India visit to be postponed to later this year | Autocar Professional

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A day before his much-anticipated trip to India, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on X stated that his trip to India would be delayed. “Unfortunately, very heavy Tesla obligations require that the visit to India be delayed, but I do very much look forward to visiting later this year,” he wrote on the micro-blogging platform.

Musk was expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi to announce an investment of USD 2 billion to USD 3 billion, to build a factory in India and launch made-in-India Tesla vehicles in the country. This came after months of negotiations with the government when it finally announced a policy lowering high tariffs on imported cars if companies invest locally.

He was also expected to meet executives from several space startups in New Delhi. Musk is awaiting Indian government regulatory approvals to begin offering his Starlink satellite broadband services in the world’s most populous country.

Musk had met Modi in New York last year, and the company has been lobbying for lower import duties on cars before committing to any investments in India.

However, following the government’s new electric vehicle policy in March, Tesla’s name has been abuzz in the Indian automotive industry.

The new policy drastically reduces the import duty on certain electric cars to 15% from the current 70-100% for five years. The lower duty is subject to a commitment to invest at least Rs 4,150 crore, or USD 500 million, and make in India within three years.

The entry of Tesla, which has a legacy of disrupting the market, is expected to boost the competition in India’s electric car market. 

Major automakers such as Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor India are expected to debut their mass-market electric car by the end of this year or early next year.

Last week, media reports said Tesla has started production of right-hand drive cars at its plant in Germany for export to India later this year.

 

 

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