Tesla CEO Elon Musk to visit India this month; to meet PM

NEW DELHI, Apr 10 : American electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk is visiting India later this month to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is likely to announce the company’s investment plans in the country, according to sources.

Musk, who has described as a ‘natural progression’ to provide Tesla electric vehicles in India, is likely to be accompanied by other company executives during the visit that is expected in the week of April 22, a source said.

An e-mail query sent to Tesla to confirm Musk’s visit remained unanswered.

In June last year, Musk met with Modi during the latter’s US visit and stated that he planned to visit India in 2024 while expressing confidence that Tesla would enter the Indian market soon.

His upcoming visit to India comes weeks after the government announced a new electric vehicle policy under which import duty concessions will be given to companies setting up manufacturing units in the country with a minimum investment of USD 500 million, a move aimed at attracting major global players like Tesla.

As per the policy, the companies that would set up manufacturing facilities for EV passenger cars will be allowed to import a limited number of cars at lower customs /import duty of 15 per cent on vehicles costing USD 35,000 and above for a period of five years from the date of issuance of the approval letter by the government.

At present, cars imported as completely built units (CBUs) attract customs duty ranging from 70 per cent to 100 per cent, depending on engine size and cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value less or above USD 40,000.

The policy seeks to promote India as a manufacturing destination for EVs and attract investment from reputed global EV manufacturers.

Last year, Tesla approached the Indian government seeking duty cuts to import its vehicles in India.

Previously in 2022, Musk had said that Tesla, which was earlier seeking a reduction in import duties to sell its vehicles in India, would not manufacture its products unless it is allowed to first sell and service its cars in the country.

In August 2021, Musk said that Tesla may set up a manufacturing unit in India if it first succeeds with imported vehicles in the country. He had said Tesla wanted to launch its vehicles in India “but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country!” (PTI)