American electric carmaker Tesla would not set up a manufacturing unit in India unless it is allowed to first sell and service its cars in the country, said the company founder and chief executive Elon Musk, Trend reports citing The Tribune.
Responding to a Twitter user asking about Tesla setting up a manufacturing plant in India, he said, “Tesla will not set up a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell and service cars.”
It is an indication that Musk’s policy has not changed since August last year, though there have been several offers from Indian politicians. Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had said last month that if Tesla was ready to manufacture its electric vehicles in India then there was ‘no problem’, but the company must not import cars from China. Ministers from Telangana and Maharashtra have also promised tax concessions if Musk was to build the Tesla plant in their state.
Musk had then said Tesla wanted to launch its vehicles in India, “but import duties (in India) are the highest in the world!” India levies import duty of 60 to 100 per cent depending on the cost of the car. But since August, Musk’s plan to capture the Indian Internet market through his Starlink project was derailed after the DoT advised Indians not to buy its Internet services as it is not yet licensed in the country.