Manuj Khurana, policy and business development executive at Tesla India, is leaving the company, according to company sources that spoke with Reuters.
Khurana was the lead executive setting up the domestic-entry plan for Tesla into India.
Tesla has long eyed India, but the high import taxes prevented the company from setting up a footprint. Currently, import taxes on Tesla-priced vehicles are as high as 100 per cent.
Tesla lobbied the Indian government for over a year to drop the import taxes to 40 per cent. This would allow the US automaker to test the market before setting up a factory for domestic vehicles.
However, the Indian government refused to drop the import taxes. In response, Tesla put its Indian plans on hold and stopped searching for showroom space.
Also, rumours are circling that Tesla is now considering an EV battery plant in Indonesia and a potential manufacturing base in Thailand.
Elon Musk confirmed last month that Tesla would not set up manufacturing facilities in any location where the company was not allowed first to sell and service its vehicles.
With Khurana’s departure, the sources note that:
Tesla’s plans to launch in India right now are as good as dead.
Neither Khurana nor Tesla have commented on the matter.