Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter and said that Tesla is faced with “a lot of challenges” with the Indian government to launch their cars in the country. The Tesla boss was replying to a user named Pranay Pathole who asked him about the company’s car launch in India. Pathole also said these cars are “pretty awesome and deserve to be in every corner of the world.”
“Yo Elon Musk any further update as to when Tesla will launch in India? They’re pretty awesome and deserve to be in every corner of the world,” Pathole wrote. “Still working through a lot of challenges with the government,” Musk replied.
Twitter users empathised with Musk and said that Indian market is particularly difficult for foreign players to enter and figure out. “Many people don’t understand all the complexities associated with entering the Indian market. The country’s government doesn’t want to show sufficient flexibility, which is saddening. Hope you can come to a consensus,” a user commented.
Another user said, “Governments like Germany and India are going to slow down their countries’ advancements in exponential technologies. It should be obvious in 10 years which governments stifled innovation.”
For the unversed, Tesla has sought relaxation in import taxes on electric vehicles before it enters the market. In a letter to the road ministry, the Elon Musk-led firm had stated the effective import tariff of 110 per cent on vehicles with customs value above $40,000 is “prohibitive” for zero-emission vehicles.
Tesla requested the government to standardise the tariff on electric cars to 40 per cent irrespective of the customs value and withdraw the social welfare surcharge of 10 per cent on electric cars. It further stated that these changes would boost the development of the Indian EV ecosystem. Tesla also mentioned that it will make significant direct investments in sales, service and charging infrastructure and significantly increase procurement from India for its global operations.
After this, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari also said that he has urged Tesla several times to manufacture its electric vehicles in India while assuring that all the support will be provided by the government to the company. Niti Aayog’s Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar had also urged Tesla to manufacture its EVs in India while assuring it of all the tax benefits from the government. Kumar also said that Tesla should not only ship its products into the country as this will not create jobs.
“Come and manufacture in India, you (Tesla) will get all the tax benefits you want,” Kumar had said while speaking at a virtual conference of the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI). He added, “The argument that we will create a market by exporting into India finished products… is an old argument and we have moved on from that.”
(With agency inputs)
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