As India positions itself as a burgeoning hub for electric vehicles (EVs), domestic automaker Mahindra & Mahindra is advocating for equal opportunities between local and international players. Mahindra’s top executive, Anish Shah, has emphasized the need for a balanced playing field, especially with global giants like Tesla eyeing the Indian market.
What Happened? In a recent interview with Reuters at the World Economic Forum, Shah stressed that global EV manufacturers should be encouraged to invest in India. “Our goal is to strengthen India’s industry, not just become an importer,” he said. This statement comes as New Delhi considers Tesla’s entry and the possibility of reducing hefty import taxes on EVs, currently standing at 100%.
India’s EV market, though nascent, is showing robust growth. Out of 4 million cars sold last year, 82,000 were EVs, marking a 115% sales increase from the previous year.
To bolster its position, Mahindra has garnered around $400 million in investments from Singapore’s Temasek and British International Investment. Meanwhile, Tata Motors, another Indian automaker, received a $1 billion investment in 2021 from TPG and Abu Dhabi’s ADQ.
Future Plans and Industry Concerns: Shah revealed Mahindra’s intention to list its EV unit, but not before 2029, to demonstrate substantial success. “Electric is the future for us,” he asserted.
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However, the Indian EV industry is apprehensive about Tesla’s demands for lower import taxes and India’s proposed policy to slash these taxes to as low as 15% for companies committing to local manufacturing. Industry insiders worry that Tesla’s entry might jeopardize the fundraising capabilities of Indian EV companies, underscoring the need for a stable and favourable tax regime.
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