Tesla is currently planning to enter the Indian market
Tesla has officially abandoned its attempt to enter the Indian market and has started re-hiring local employees. The automaker has not been able to persuade the government to change its mind about the high import duty on foreign electric vehicles.
Tesla is still the largest vehicle market in India.
Over the years, Elon Musk has said that Tesla’s launch in India is imminent, but that strong import tariffs have made it difficult. Nonetheless, the automaker has received some hints of preparation for the launch over the past year.
In 2021, Tesla officially incorporated the Indian company in Bangalore, the capital of the South Indian state of India. In the summer, Indian government officials said they were considering Tesla’s proposal to drastically reduce import duties on electric cars, a major obstacle for the company to enter the market.
The government has maintained high import tariffs on EVs to promote domestic production, but so far, the effect has been mainly to prevent automakers from importing popular EVs produced outside the country, including China.
Tesla has shown interest in setting up a factory in the country, but like every other market, the automaker prefers to test the water with the first imported vehicles.
More recently, Tesla vehicles have been tested on Indian roads and seven electric vehicle variants have been approved in the country.
But a few months later, Tesla still could not move forward with service centers and supercharger stations.
It seems that the automaker was still waiting for the Indian government to reduce the import duty, but despite strong lobbying efforts from Tesla, it will not be reduced.
Last month, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that Tesla was still welcome to build a factory in India, but that Tesla did not want to import vehicles from China.
This seems to be the last blow to Tesla’s efforts to launch in India as the automaker has now officially stopped searching for service centers and supercharger locations in the country. It has also started re-hiring staff (via Reuters):
For example, Manuj Khurana, Tesla’s Delhi-based head of Indian policy and business development, has been moved to the US for a “manufacturing” role.
India’s protectionist strategy does not appear to be working with Tesla, which is not yet ready to build a new factory to enter the new market, but with Mercedes-Benz, which recently announced plans to start assembling electric cars in India. To launch in the market.