American electric car maker Tesla, founded by talismanic entrepreneur Elon Musk, has started discussions with government to get entry into the Indian car market. A report in Times of India claims that Tesla wants to enter Indian market through single-brand retail route, which would mandate the company to fulfill several conditions including sourcing of up to 30% of goods from Indian market.
The report comes months after Musk resorted to twitter to complain about the high import duty imposed by the Indian government and demanded relief for the same.
“In discussions with the government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built,” he had tweeted.
Although sources claim that it won’t be easy for Indian government to give exemption in import duty, but many important ministers in the government are supportive of Tesla’s entry into the country. It must be noted that none other than Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited company’s headquarter in 2015, presumably to make an effort to pave way for automaker’s entry into the Indian market.
Tesla’s push to make debut in India comes amid government’s effort in convincing Indian auto industry to take electric car market seriously. In fact, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari recently dictated that only electric cars must run on Indian roads by 2030. However, Gadkari’s suggestion was not welcomed unanimously by the auto industry, with Suzuki claiming that complete transition to electric cars is not feasible for the Indian market.
While there is no doubt that Indian electric car market is still in nascent stage, but in neighboring China the electric car market is already growing at impressive pace. Tesla’s impressive sales in China are reflection of this fact. The company is also building charging stations across the country and is already in talks to build full-fledged plant in shanghai.