Thursday, May 23, 2024
India News

‘Biggest loser’: US entrepreneur slams Elon Musk’s choice of China over India for Tesla manufacturing unit

Indian-American academic, entrepreneur, and author, Vivek Wadhwa has slammed the decision of billionaire Elon Musk eschewing India for the Tesla manufacturing operation.

Wadhwa wrote that “Elon is going to be the biggest loser” by picking China over India for manufacturing the Tesla electric cars.

“A few years ago, I exchanged emails with him about the risks in China. I warned him they would rob him blind and urged him to consider moving manufacturing to India instead, where he would have dominated the market by now,” said Wadhwa.

Tesla lays off over 16,000 employees; many face H-1B visa deadline

Last month, Musk had planned his visit to India but he later postponed it. However, just days later, the billionaire visited China and won concessions for Tesla.

Musk was due to meet PM Modi around April 22 and announce an investment of up to $3 billion in a car plant but cancelled saying there were “very heavy Tesla obligations”.

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A week later, Musk turned up in China, meeting with Premier Li Qiang and making progress towards rolling out its advanced driver assistance package in the world’s biggest auto market.

Tesla’s ties to India showed signs of strengthening in recent months, with expectations building that Tesla may commit about $2 billion to an EV plant, and the government lowering import taxes on vehicles from foreign carmakers that pledge to invest in local manufacturing. But any such announcement has been put off.

Why Elon Musk prioritized China over India

Indian officials are hopeful that Musk will invest in the near future due to recent changes to EV policies.

According to the Bloomberg news agency, foreign automakers have had trouble finding long-term success in the world’s most populous nation. Ford Motor Co. said in 2022 that it was exploring alternatives for its manufacturing facilities in India, a year after announcing it would cease making cars in the country. Toyota Motor Corp. said in 2020 that it wouldn’t expand further due to high tariffs, though it’s since announced plans to make some EV components in the country.

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Published: 14 May 2024, 07:48 AM IST