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    Tesla chief Musk to meet Indian PM Modi, fueling excitement around investment plans

    Tesla’s chief executive officer Elon Musk is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his upcoming visit to India. The meeting, reportedly scheduled for later this month in New Delhi, has fueled anticipation about Tesla’s potential foray into the country’s burgeoning electric vehicle market.

    Musk’s announcement follows India’s recent decision to reduce import taxes on EVs, a move aimed at attracting global automakers to invest in local production. The Indian government last month announced its plans to lower import tariffs on certain electric vehicles to 15% from 100%, subject to certain conditions. With a commitment of at least $500 million and establishment of manufacturing facilities within three years, international car manufacturers can benefit from lower import tariffs.

    Tesla’s interest in India is not new. In 2021, Musk cited high import duties as a barrier to entering the Indian market. However, with the recent policy changes and India’s goal of achieving 30% EV penetration by 2030, the country presents a compelling opportunity for Tesla to expand its global footprint. Apart from seeking lower taxes, Tesla previously also demanded to first test the demand in the country by selling its cars imported from its existing production hubs in the U.S. and China but the discussions ended in a deadlock.

    Musk met PM Modi last year and following the meeting, the billionaire businessman said that the automaker will debut in the country “as soon as humanly possible” and added that “India has more promise than any large country in the world.” It is noteworthy that Tesla has been facing challenges in its primary markets of the United States and China, with declining sales and increased competition. India’s growing EV market, on the other hand, offers a promising prospect for the company. According to a Reuters report, Tesla has already started building right-hand drive cars at its factory in Germany for export to India later this year.

    Meanwhile, the timing of Musk’s visit coincides with India’s national elections, set to commence on April 19. Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is widely expected to secure a third consecutive term, and a potential investment announcement from Tesla could bolster Modi’s image as a leader attracting foreign investment and fostering economic growth.

    Author

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    Monika Asthana

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