Tesla is eligible for major car industry benefits in India, but hasn’t applied for any: Gov’t Official

Tesla’s long and relatively uneventful quest to build and sell the company’s all-electric vehicles in India continues to show a pointing game as Indian government officials say they don’t know why the company did not seek any incentives from the PLI program that could economically benefit the automaker.

India has several production-related incentive programs that benefit the manufacturing of environmentally friendly cars, automotive components, and battery cells in the country. The company is eligible for several programs, according to a government official, who said Tesla did not apply any of them. The official argues that Tesla wants India to concede its desires in the potential deal without committing to any manufacturing plants in the country.

“They (Tesla) didn’t apply. Tesla may have benefits under PLI programs for the automotive sector, for making advanced chemical cells, but the company wants preferential rights without showing any commitment to produce here,” a senior government source told India Economic Times.

Indian government programs have offered companies incentives of up to 18% to encourage auto and parts manufacturers to build locally using local talent. Not wishing to relocate domestic jobs to foreign countries to save money, India has put in place a core of financial incentive programs meant to complement all parties involved. Twenty companies, including Hyundai Motor India, Suzuki Motor Gujarat and Mahindra & Mahindra, have already submitted investment proposals to the PLI programme.

Teslarati reported last month that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” program, which aimed to boost local manufacturing efforts, would likely benefit both Tesla and the Indian government. However, an agreement does not seem to be reached.

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India is still waiting for Tesla to submit its full plans for the country. The automaker appears unwilling to move forward unless government officials wish to waive the heavy taxes that apply to any imported vehicle. “The government wants to allow Tesla to manufacture vehicles in India. But they must first submit firm business plans,” the official added.

Indian officials have spoken out numerous times regarding Tesla’s request to reduce import duties.

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Tesla is eligible for major car industry benefits in India, but hasn’t applied for any: Gov’t Official

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