India's Detroit To Make 'Aggressive' Pitch For Tesla's Manufacturing Plant As Elon Musk Plans Visit

Zinger Key Points
  • Elon Musk will reportedly be in India for two days between April 21 and 22 and will meet with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • A quartet of states are in contention for locating Tesla's manufacturing site in theirs'.

As rumours of U.S. electric-vehicle giant Tesla CEO Elon Musk‘s India visit fly around thick and fast, a report said on Friday that the country’s southernmost state was going all out to woo the automaker.

What Happened: The Indian state of Tamil Nadu is preparing an aggressive pitch to sway Tesla and its CEO towards building its factory in the state, a Bloomberg report said.

The state’s minister for industries T.R. B Rajaa reportedly said, “Tamil Nadu will be pitching for all opportunities of electric vehicle manufacturing from all global car majors,” adding that the state has the “best electric vehicle policies and ecosystem.”

“Tamil Nadu is already the automotive capital of the country…. we will aim at making the state the EV capital too,” the minister reportedly said.

The report comes close on the heels of Musk, the world’s third-richest man, confirming on X, a social-media platform that he owns, that he would be meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

A CNBC-TV18 exclusive report said the Tesla chief will be in India for two days between April 21 and 22 and will meet with the Indian prime minister and several other government officials as well as industry representatives. He is also widely expected to reveal the company’s India plan during his visit.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Why It’s Important: India recently relaxed import curbs on luxury cars, potentially breaking a barrier that kept Tesla on abeyance for long.

Under the new Indian import guidelines, automakers are allowed to import up to 8,000 cars costing $35,000 or more per year at a lower tax rate of 15%. This is a steep reduction from the 70%-100% taxes the country previously levied, depending on the value of the car.

The reduced tax rate is conditioned on the beneficiary company committing to invest at least $500 million and start domestic manufacturing within three years.

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, has the moniker of the “Detroit of India” due to the presence of the manufacturing facilities of major automobile and ancillary industries in and around it. Ford, one of Detroit’s big three, has recently evinced interest in restarting its Chennai manufacturing operation after shuttering it in mid-2022. The company reportedly aims to make EVs based on its new affordable platform in the plant for the Indian and overseas markets.

The Bloomberg report said the state wouldn’t have a cakewalk as others such as Telangana, Maharashtra and Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat are also in contention.

Read Next: Tesla’s India Entry Doesn’t Scare Luxury Market Leader Mercedes-Benz: ‘Our EV Charging Bays Will Be Open’

Photos courtesy: Shutterstock

Don't miss a beat on the share market. Get real-time updates on top stock movers and trading ideas on Benzinga India Telegram channel.

Posted In: NewsTop StoriesMediaElon MuskIndiaNarendra ModiTesla