New Delhi: Tesla Plans to sell electric vehicles in India have stalled, abandoned search for showroom space and re-hired some of its domestic team after failing to secure lower import taxes, three people familiar with the matter said.
The decision limits more than a year of stagnant negotiations with government officials as Tesla seeks to test demand first by selling electric vehicles (EVs) imported from manufacturing centers in the United States and China at lower tariffs.
But the government is pressuring Tesla to commit to local production before cutting tariffs, which could run up to 100% on imported vehicles. Tesla set a Feb. 1 deadline to see if it could deliver its lobbying results, sources familiar with the company’s plans said. When the government did not give a waiver, Tesla suspended plans to import cars to India, sources added, who tried to remain anonymous because the talks were private.
For months, Tesla has been looking for real estate options to open showrooms and service centers in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, but that plan is now stuck, two sources said. Tesla did not respond to an email seeking comment.
An official spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As of January, the chief executive recently Elon Musk Tesla said it was “still working with the government through many challenges” on sales in India.
Elsewhere, however, strong demand for Tesla vehicles and import tax stagnation prompted a change in strategy, sources said. Modi wanted to seduce the manufacturers by promoting “Make in India”, but his transport minister, Nitin GadkariHe said in April that importing cars from China to India would not be a “good offer” for Tesla.
But New Delhi won a landslide victory in January, when German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz said it would begin assembling one of its electric cars in India. Tesla wanted to gain a primary advantage in India’s small but growing electric vehicle market, which is now dominated by domestic automakers. Tata Motors. Tesla’s minimum ট্যাগ 40,000 price tag will put it in the luxury segment of the Indian market, where sales make up only a small fraction of the nearly three million annual car sales. Reuters