Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said while the company finalises its launch plans for the market, it is already sourcing significantly from India, indicating the robustness of the manufacturing processes and quality of production.
“Tesla last year bought $1 billion worth of components from India… this year, their target is $1.7-1.9 billion,” the minister said, adding that, “I am convinced that this (EVs) is the future. It is something we must try to attract.”
On whether Tesla will be given preferential treatment in terms of lower import duty on cars for the initial period of its business, he said, “This government has been in power for nine years, and everything we have done has been done equally – without any differentiation, without any preferences.”
The carmaker had revived its plans to manufacture and launch cars in India a couple of months ago, after abandoning the project last year. Sources had told TOI in July that Tesla opened discussions with the government for an investment proposal to set up a mega car factory in India with an annual capacity of as many as 5 lakh vehicles, which would churn out electric cars with prices that may begin from “as low as” Rs 20 lakh.
Not only this, the company – which also has a significant business in China (including factories) – is looking at using India as an export base as it plans to ship cars to countries in the Indo-Pacific region. A source in the government said that Tesla has come to the government with an aggressive and ambitious plan which is focused around local investments and manufacturing.
When asked about foreign firms looking to invest in India as part of the China-plus-one strategy, Goyal said global companies are coming to India because of its attractiveness. “I totally debunk and reject the China-plus-one theory. That’s not what is going to drive India… the India of today stands on its own feet. It has offerings for the rest of the world – both for investment and trade.”