Elon Musk hints at Tesla entering India next year

Elon Musk is hinting that Tesla might enter the Indian automotive market as soon as next year after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India has the biggest auto market that Tesla has yet to enter.

For years, Elon Musk said that Tesla’s launch in India was imminent, but strong import tariffs have made it difficult. Nonetheless, the automaker has had some indications of preparing for a launch over the last year.

In 2021, Tesla officially incorporated an Indian company in Bengaluru, the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state. During the summer, Indian government officials said that they are considering Tesla’s proposal to greatly reduce import duties for electric cars, which has been the main hurdle for the company to enter the market.

The government has maintained high import duties on EVs to encourage local production, but so far, it has mainly resulted in preventing automakers to import popular EVs produced outside the country, including in China.

Tesla has expressed interest in building a factory in the country, but as it has done in every other market, the automaker prefers to first test the waters with imported vehicles.

In 2021, Tesla vehicles have been spotted being tested on Indian roads (pictured above), and it got seven electric vehicle variants approved in the country.

However, the company wasn’t able to come to a deal on import tariffs, and in 2022, Tesla decided to put its plans to enter the Indian market on hold.

Things picked up earlier this year when Tesla sent a team to talk to officials in India, and according to a local report, Tesla has agreed to build a factory in India to enter the market.

Is it finally on?

The Tesla visit to India earlier this year gave some credibility to the rumors, but now things are ramping up as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk during his visit to the US this week.

During a media scramble following his meeting with Modi, Musk said that he plans to visit India next year and that Tesla is coming to the market “as fast as humanly possible”:

A visit from Musk would point to a deal being announced in the country.

Recently, the CEO said that Tesla is aiming to announce the location of its next Gigafactory around the end of the year.

Is India going to be it? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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