After years of negotiations with the Indian government over high import taxes on vehicles, Tesla is gearing up to make significant investments in the country this year. While Tesla and India continue to work out the finer details of their partnership, which could potentially bring a new Gigafactory to the country, a recent statement from a government official has shed light on the automaker’s ambitious plans.
According to a statement from India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal, Tesla is planning to source automotive components worth between $1.7 and $1.9 billion from India in the coming year. This announcement was made during an auto event in New Delhi and signals a substantial increase from the roughly $1 billion worth of auto parts Tesla procured from India in 2022.
Goyal expressed optimism about the collaboration, stating, “We’ll start enjoying the fruits of new technologies, innovation, and R&D coming into India. The auto component industry will not only cater to the growing demand within India but also contribute to exports as the same components are used in models sold worldwide.”
Addressing concerns about high import duties on vehicles, Goyal hinted at the possibility of a new policy to incentivize lowering import duties. He emphasized that the Indian government aims to provide equal opportunities for all stakeholders and would engage in consultations to devise a suitable policy.
This development comes after India’s persistent efforts to attract Tesla, dating back to 2021 when the country recommended the establishment of an EV factory. However, Tesla’s vehicles are not currently available in India primarily due to import taxes, which can reach as high as 35 percent on automobiles. Although Tesla proposed reducing import taxes to 15 percent last month, negotiations are ongoing. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, previously stated that the company would only consider building a factory in India once it can both sell and service its vehicles there. In the interim, Tesla aims to introduce its cars to the Indian market and evaluate their reception before committing to local production.
“In many cases, particularly in taxis, public transport, and buses, we already see electric vehicles becoming a compelling investment,” Goyal added, highlighting the growing interest in EVs within India.
As of now, Tesla manufactures its vehicles at various “Gigafactories” worldwide, including locations in Shanghai, China, Berlin, Germany, and two facilities in the United States, situated in Fremont, California, and Austin, Texas.