Tesla In India? Elon Musk Said To Unveil $2-3 Billion Plan During Visit: Report

Elon Musk is likely to meet PM Narendra Modi during his India trip next week, where he will unveil Tesla’s plans to make and sell in India, according to a Reuters report.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk is set to announce an investment of $2-3 billion to make and sell electric cars in India, after he meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, according to Reuters.

Musk will meet Modi on Monday during his India trip next week, where the billionaire is expected to unveil his plans to enter the world’s third largest automotive market, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing two unnamed sources. The Tesla CEO will likely give an investment figure without sharing details such as a timeline or the location of the plant. 

The carmaker, meanwhile, is said to be scouting for locations in New Delhi and Mumbai to set up retail operations. It has also reportedly signed an agreement with Tata Electronics Pvt. Ltd. to make componentry for vehicles produced locally. Additionally, Tesla has started making right-hand drive cars at its Berlin plant to sell in India.

Details of Musk’s India visit are scarce, with him only publicly confirming on X—formerly Twitter—his intentions to meet Modi in New Delhi later this month.

Tesla’s likely investment in India is significant, for it follows a revision in the EV policy that aimed at attracting EV makers to make and sell in India.

Global electric carmakers, which invest at least $500 million to set up local manufacturing operations, will enjoy a reduced customs duty of 15% on imports for five years, as against 70-100% at present. Tesla had been lobbying for this reduction.

To be sure, Tesla would be entering India when quarterly sales of its electric cars are at their lowest in at least four years—in line with the EV slowdown seen globally.

The maker of the Model 3 sedan shipped 3,87,000 units in January-March 2024 as against Bloomberg estimates of just under 4,50,000 units. A year ago, analysts had expected first quarter sales of 5,30,000 units. Now, they are bracing for Tesla’s sales to potentially shrink for the year, citing slow output of its newest model—the Cybertruck—and a lull over new products. Consequently, Tesla is now effecting 10% job cuts globally.