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Musk Can Sell Tesla Cars in India Only if They’re Manufactured Here: Gadkari

"Our request to him is to come to India and manufacture here. We have no problems," Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.

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Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday, 26 April, that Elon Musk would have to manufacture his Tesla cars in India, and not China, if he wanted to sell the vehicles in the country.

Reiterating that Musk will not get any special treatment when it comes to customs duties, Gadkari said during the 'Raisina Dialogue 2022' that if Musk wanted to manufacture in China and sell Tesla cars here, "it cannot be a good proposition for India."

"Our request to him is to come to India and manufacture here. We have no problems. The vendors are available, we offer all kinds of technology and because of that, Musk can reduce the cost."
Nitin Gadkari

"India is a huge market and offers good export opportunities too. Musk can export Tesla cars from India," he added, according to IANS.

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In February too, Gadkari had said that Musk would have to manufacture in India first in order to roll out Tesla cars on the roads.

"Now his (Musk's) interest is to manufacture the Tesla car in China and make it sell in India. So, if you start here, you are welcome, no problem. But manufacturing in China and selling in India is not a digestible concept to all of us," he noted.

When asked about Tesla's demand to cut customs duties on electric cars, Gadkari said that the country could not appease one automobile company, reported IANS.

"India is a huge market. We have all the world's automobile giants – BMW, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai – present here. If we give one benefit to one company, we have to give that benefit to other companies also. That is the practical problem," he elaborated.

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Working Through Challenges, Says Musk

In January, Musk had said that the company was still working on challenges with the Indian government to launch electric cars in the country.

Musk tweeted, "Still working through a lot of challenges with the government," in response to a question by an Indian user on Twitter asking if the company had any plans of launching Tesla in India.

Musk and PM Modi's administration have been in talks since 2019 but high import taxes of as much as 100 percent and disagreements over a local factory have led to an impasse.

Musk has demanded lower taxes so that Tesla can start off by selling imported vehicles at a cheaper price in a budget-conscious market.

The government had also asked Musk to ramp up local procurement and export its electric vehicles from India itself instead of manufacturing from China-based factories.

In January last year, Musk had started registrations of Tesla in Bengaluru.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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