Senior executives from Tesla Inc are planning to visit India this week aiming to strengthen the carmaker’s supply chain in the country and expand its operations beyond China. The executives, including C-suite executives and managers from Tesla’s supply chain, production, and business development teams, are scheduled to meet with government representatives, including officials from the office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Their discussions will focus on the possibility of local sourcing of components for Tesla’s car models. The visit could signify a positive shift in the relationship between India and Tesla, as the company has faced challenges entering the Indian market due to high import taxes and disagreements over electric vehicle policies.
Tesla’s interest in sourcing more from India aligns with Prime Minister Modi’s vision of making the country a global manufacturing hub. By engaging with Indian authorities and exploring opportunities for collaboration, Tesla aims to win favour and potentially establish a stronger presence in one of the world’s largest automobile markets. This move also supports India’s push for electric vehicle adoption to combat air pollution and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
While Tesla is not yet considering India as a base for assembling its cars, the visit indicates the company’s willingness to explore possibilities for future operations in the country. However, Elon Musk has made it clear that Tesla will only establish manufacturing plants in locations where it can first sell and service its vehicles. The automotive market in India is highly promising, with rising demand for electric vehicles, and global competitors such as Mercedes-Benz AG have already taken steps to sell locally assembled cars.
Tesla’s interest in diversifying beyond China reflects a broader trend among US companies amid ongoing trade tensions between the US and China. The importance of pivoting away from China has been recognized by companies like Apple, which has established manufacturing facilities in India to produce a significant portion of its global smartphone output.
The visit by Tesla executives to India holds the potential for significant developments in the relationship between the company and the Indian government. While specific plans for Tesla’s operations in India are yet to be disclosed, this visit signifies the company’s intent to explore opportunities, collaborate with local partners, and establish a stronger foothold in the Indian market. Industry observers eagerly await further updates on this promising relationship.