Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the chances for a potential significant investment in India are high, following a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the United States on Tuesday. After the meeting Musk expressed confidence that Tesla would establish a presence in India at the earliest opportunity, emphasizing the likelihood of a substantial investment and a long-term relationship.
“I’m confident that Tesla will be in India and we’ll do so as soon as humanly possible. We do not want to jump the gun on an announcement, but I think it’s quite likely that there will be a significant investment, a relationship with India,” Musk said (via Bloomberg)
Discussions between Tesla and Indian officials were revived in May after a year-long hiatus when the two parties reached a stalemate in their negotiations last year. Tesla wanted a reduction in import duties before setting up a Gigafactory, while India said they would consider no such reduction until Tesla committed to building vehicles in the country. Tesla’s position changed recently when executives visited India and engaged in talks with officials regarding local part sourcing and incentives. While Musk didn’t join that trip, he did say on Tuesday said he plans to personally visit India sometime in 2024.
While we don’t know what the significant investment will be exactly, Tesla and Musk have been actively exploring potential locations for the automaker’s next Gigafactory. Recently Musk met with French President Emmanuel Macron for the second time in one month, who expressed France’s interest in hosting the plant. Italy has also thrown its hat into the ring with Musk and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also meeting last week.
Spain is also reportedly in the running, and although there were early suggestions that Canada may be a potential candidate, those have run dry in recent months, but more discussions could be taking place behind closed doors.