(RightWing.org) – Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is an American success story. The company has popular products and has grown at an amazing rate, employing thousands of skilled workers. However, it’s now emerged that Tesla has also been holding talks about opening a new factory — in India.
Tesla has proposed setting up a factory in India to build electric cars for domestic sale and export, the carmaker told government officials, according to a source https://t.co/2wVDQWAOSW
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 18, 2023
On May 18, Reuters reported that Tesla had held talks with Indian officials in an apparent attempt to enter the potentially huge Indian market. “A person with direct knowledge of the talks,” said Tesla was interested in incentives the country is offering to car and battery manufacturers. Tesla is both; as well as vehicles, the company manufactures its own batteries, both for EVs and electricity storage systems.
India’s deputy IT minister, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, allegedly took part in the meetings. The source said Tesla was “testing the water” and getting a feel for Indian politics before making any decisions.
Tesla definitely seems interested in India; on May 17, Reuters carried a report that the company has proposed building a factory there. It’s not clear if this information came from the same source, but it seems likely.
It’s also obvious why Tesla would consider building cars in India. The country has a huge population — In January, it overtook China as the most populous country in the world, with an estimated population of 1.417 billion — and while its per capita GDP of $6,600 is about a third of China’s, there’s a rapidly growing middle class.
Meanwhile, India imposes a 100% tariff on imported cars; Tesla has asked the country for a reduction, but the request was refused, so making cars locally makes sense. Tesla’s plan is to make cars for export as well as for the Indian market, so they could benefit from lower wages. On the other hand, it doesn’t fit the goal of bringing high-skilled jobs back to the US.
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