Musk Ignores India. Tesla Team Moves to Other Markets
New Delhi, (IANS) While Union Ministers keep on making a beeline to Tesla CEO Elon Musk to come and manufacture electric cars in India, he is more interested in his $44 billion Twitter acquisition rather than paying attention to what the Indian government has been reiterating now for months.
His utter disinterest in responding to several requests made by the Indian government, especially by Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, comes in the wake of reports that the team he hired in India last year has now been diverted to focus on the Middle-East and the larger Asia-Pacific markets.
Nishant Prasad, in charge of establishing Tesla’s supercharger network in India, has updated his LinkedIn profile to Charging Operations Lead-APAC.
Manoj Khurana, who was Tesla India’s first recruit, responsible for public policy and business development, relocated to California last month to take up a product role.
The move by the Musk-led Tesla appears to be a retaliation as the Indian government has not accepted the demand by Musk to reduce import duties on Tesla vehicles.
From Telangana Minister for Industries, KT Rama Rao, to Maharashtra Minister and state NCP President Jayant Patil, several Indian leaders have made repeated appeals to Musk to bring Tesla to India but to no avail.
During the ‘Raisina Dialogue 2022’ last month, Gadkari said that if Musk wants to manufacture in China and sell Tesla cars here, “it cannot be a good proposition for India”.
“India is a huge market and offers good export opportunities too. Musk can export Tesla cars from India,” he told the audience.
Asked about Tesla’s demand to cut customs duties on electric cars, Gadkari said that the country cannot appease one automobile company.
Musk had tweeted that he faced challenges from the government for releasing its products in India. “Tesla isn’t in India yet due to “Challenges with the government”, he posted.