Tesla is going to get “no separate policy” from India’s government officials as a continuing saga between the two has no clear end.
Tesla has been looking to enter India for years, and although CEO Elon Musk and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have a strong relationship, there appears to be no nearing conclusion for the two that will end in a partnership.
The issues between the two have been clear from the beginning: Tesla wants to test demand by importing vehicles from another factory, and India wants Tesla to commit to a factory before rolling back import duties that would give the EV maker an accurate depiction of demand.
However, Indian officials have been clear that Tesla will not get special treatment, rollbacks on import duties, or any specific advantage that is not offered to other companies.
This narrative continued on Friday, as Krishan Pal Gurjar, the Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries, confirmed that Tesla is still not going to get preferential treatment simply because of what the company has accomplished.
He said in reply to a written query from a Member of the Parliament (via Deccan Herald):
“Sir, there is no separate policy that has been framed by the Ministry of Heavy Industries for providing incentives to US-based Tesla. However, two Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes are being implemented by the Ministry of Heavy Industries for promotion of Advanced Automotive Technology (AAT) Products, including electric cars and Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) batteries, with an aim to enhance India’s manufacturing capabilities.”
The PLI scheme that Gurjar spoke of has already closed, but Tesla can apply for another one, known as the “National Programme on Advanced Chemsty Cells Battery Storage,” another incentive program that aims to increase India’s manufacturing strength.
India has long relied on the “Make in India” campaign to strengthen domestic manufacturing, provide stable jobs to citizens, and stabilize the country’s economy.
It is also one of the reasons Tesla has had such a hard time entering the market because India’s government officials do not want cars made in other countries flooding the region. It would rather prioritize long-term domestic manufacturing efforts by pushing Tesla to invest there, and it does not seem like that will change.
Unfortunately, Tesla is extremely unlikely to launch a multi-billion dollar investment in a region where it is unsure cars would even sell.
Domestic EV companies in India were pushing the government not to let up its pressure on Tesla, hoping that the world’s leading electric automaker would not get preferential treatment to enter the country.
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