Musk Pushes Back, Refuses to Manufacture Tesla in India
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Breaking his silence on India plans, Elon Musk has said that Tesla will not manufacture cars in India unless it is allowed to sell and provide service to its electric vehicles.
On Starlink, he said that SpaceX is still waiting for the Indian government’s approval.
“Tesla will not put a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell & service cars,” Musk tweeted late on May 27.
He responded to a user asking about the company’s manufacturing plans for India.
Responding to another follower on Starlink, he said: “We are waiting for government approval”.
Union Ministers, especially Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, keep on making a beeline to Musk to come and manufacture electric cars in India.
The team Musk hired in India last year has now been diverted to focus on the Middle East and the larger Asia-Pacific markets.
The move by 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”.
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.
Musk has said that he wants to launch cars in India but the country’s import duties on EVs are “highest in the world by far”.
Meanwhile, SpaceX satellite internet service Starlink is available in 32 countries, up from 25 countries reported earlier this year.
In India, the government had told Starlink to stop “booking/rendering the satellite internet service” in the country without a license.
Sanjay Bhargava, India Director for Starlink, stepped down earlier this year amid government pressure.
The Elon Musk-owned company also informed some individuals in the country that it will refund their pre-orders.