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Government invites Tesla to set up shop in India


The government has invited electric car maker Tesla Motors to open a manufacturing hub in India and has offered land at major port cities to facilitate export of their cars to South East Asian countries. Nitin Gadkari, the transport minister, who had visited the company in California, also proposed joint ventures between Tesla and Indian car manufacturers to introduce electric cars in the country.

Tesla, on the other hand, said it would consider the offer by the government at an appropriate time, according to a statement. Tesla also said that it has future plans for trucks and pick up vans but has not plans yet for buses and two-wheelers.

Earlier, power minister Piyush Goyal had outlined a scheme to provide electric cars on zero downpayment for which people can pay out of their savings on expensive fossil fuels, as indicated by this report by Press Trust of India.

Tesla in India

In April, Tesla announced the latest electric car Model 3 would be launched in India.  The company is currently taking pre-orders for a $1,000 reservation price. Note that the Model 3 is set for launch in late 2017, and is likely be delivered to pre-order customers outside the US by 2018. Model 3 is Tesla’s fourth electric car after Roadster, Model S and Model X. Model 3 differs in that at $35,000 (around Rs 25 lakh), it significantly cheaper than the other three cars. However, the 100% import tax will be a turnoff for some Indians looking to order one.

Tesla however asked the government if there were any subsidies for electric cars in India. Gadkari  asked Tesla executives to outline their proposals for entry into Indian market.

China manufacturing hub

In January, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors had said that they would be locking down on manufacturing facility in China by mid 2016. Bloomberg had reported that Jinqiao Group, a Shanghai government-owned company, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Tesla on building its production facilities for $9 billion. However, Musk denied the report via Twitter.

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