Tesla won’t set up manufacturing plant in India until allowed to first sell and service cars, Elon Musk says – TechCrunch

Tesla won’t set up a manufacturing plant in India until it is first allowed to sell and service cars in the country, the carmaker’s chief executive Elon Musk suggested Friday, more than a year he and an Indian state said that the electric carmaker was planning to open a plant in the southern part of the country.

Responding to an individual on Twitter, who had asked for an update on Tesla’s manufacturing plant in India, Musk responded, “Tesla will not put a manufacturing plant in any location where we are not allowed first to sell & service cars.”

Tesla and the Indian government have been engaging for more than two years to evaluate a pathway for the electric carmaker to enter the South Asian nation. Last year, the Southern Indian state of Karnataka said that Tesla “will be opening an electric car manufacturing unit in Karnataka.”

Tesla incorporated a subsidiary in India early last year and registered an office in the city of Bengaluru in Karnataka. The move followed a tweet from Musk in December 2020, when he said that Tesla will launch in India in 2021.

The Indian government insists that Tesla to open a manufacturing plant in the country and follow its high import duties if it wishes to sell cars in the nation. In a tweet earlier this year, Musk had tweeted that Tesla was “still working through a lot of challenges with the government.”

In a separate tweet, Musk disclosed to another user that SpaceX was waiting for approval from the Indian government for launching Starlink in India. The company had hired Sanjay Bhargava, a former PayPal executive, to lead Starlink’s operations in India.

Bhargava stepped down from his role weeks after New Delhi ordered the SpaceX division to stop taking orders for the devices as it doesn’t have the license to operate in the South Asian market.

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