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Elon Musk plans new Tesla factories, India awaits local production

Musk wants Tesla’s factories to be closer to its customers with at least one factory catering to one major continent.

October 08, 2021 / 04:57 PM IST
Elon Musk.

Elon Musk.

Tesla will start scanning locations for future factories next year with a final decision likely to come up only in 2023, even as India, the fifth largest automotive market in the world, awaits a Tesla factory. Elon Musk who was talking to stockholders at Tesla’s annual meeting in Texas, US on October 7 said that investigation for new factories will commence in 2022.

“We might start scanning for location next year but I think we can do a lot with Berlin, Austin, Fremont and China. It’s a nice thing to have a factory in Europe, China and North America. We at least have factories in continents where customers of our high-volume products are located. We will start investigating new factories next year and maybe make a decision in 2023,” Musk said.

Musk wants Tesla’s factories to be closer to its customers with at least one factory catering to one major continent. While Musk did not elaborate on locations of factories for the future, several states in India have offered a red-carpet welcome to the EV-making giant to set up a facility.

Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have invited Tesla to set up a plant. Speaking at the India Today Conclave 2021 on October 8, Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the Government of India wants Musk to set up a vehicle factory in India rather than import vehicles from China.

“I have said this many times to Tesla, that don’t make (cars) in China and sell (them) in India. Come to India, make the cars here, sell your cars here and export from here. Whatever help is needed we are here. Indian vendors can supply all materials to Tesla,” Gadkari said.

In January 2021, Tesla registered a company in India, ‘Tesla India Motors and Energy’, which is based in Bengaluru. In August 2021, the electric vehicle giant cleared the homologation stage for all the four models/variants it had sought approval for in India, as per information shared by the Centre-controlled Vahan Sewa. Homologation is a process that certifies a particular vehicle is roadworthy after meeting all the specified criteria.

It was not immediately clear which models or variants these were but multiple test cars of Tesla have been spotted regularly on Indian roads. Model 3 and Model Y have been seen testing in India since the past several weeks.

Tesla, unofficially, has sought lowering of import duties from the Indian government even as it moves to finalise its product launch plans for the country. The company is hoping to have a cheaper price tag on its cars which is otherwise not possible due to the steep import duties.

The Model Y and Model 3 of Tesla are priced in the range of $38,700 to $41,200. Both models made up 90 percent of Tesla’s volumes in 2020.

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Swaraj Baggonkar
Swaraj Baggonkar
first published: Oct 8, 2021 04:57 pm