Indian Transport Minister visited the Tesla Factory in California and offered land in India to make the country its “Asian manufacturing hub”
Last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) factory in Fremont, CA, and talked about battery and solar technologies with some executives, fueling up speculations for a Tesla factory in India. While such reports were initially dismissed as rumors, it now appears that the government actually wants the electric vehicle maker to build a factory in the country.
Indian Express reported that Indian Minister for Road Transport and Highway, Nitin Gadkari, visited the Fremont factory on July 15 and met with company officials. The minister discussed about introduction, acceleration, and “pollution-free road transport” adoption, focusing on public and commercial vehicles, including buses, trucks, and two-wheelers.
The Indian government aims to promote green-energy transport in the country by offering incentives to vehicles powered by CNG, bio-fuel, electric, and ethanol. Interestingly, Mr. Gadkari offered land for a manufacturing facility near the Indian port, which would facilitate export of vehicles to other South Asian markets. He suggested the automaker to make India its manufacturing hub in Asia.
We already know that Tesla has been working to establish its first Asian manufacturing facility in China, the world’s largest automobile market. Thus, a senior Tesla executive appreciated the offer and said that the company will definitely consider it in the future, most likely after production of the Model 3 ramps up. The executive added that India will certainly be an ideal market for its first low-end luxury sedan, the Model 3, whose reservation has been opened to customers in India.
Tesla is already in talks with potential partners and manufacturers in China. Last month, a Bloomberg report suggested that Shanghai is the front-runner in cities vying for the Tesla China factory. However, both the company and reported local partner denied the news.
Being two of the fastest growing economies in the world with high-level carbon emission levels, China and India present the most lucrative markets for Tesla in Asia. Both the countries are now taking initiatives to alleviate their carbon footprint and promote the use of renewable energy.
With Tesla’s HEPA air filtration system in the Model X, which has recently been introduced in the Model S as well, the automaker can significantly improve air quality in these regions if such technologies hit their roads in sizeable volumes. The air filters not only offer clean, breathable air to passengers in the vehicle; it also purifies the air aroundthe car.