Tesla is welcome to set up shop in India, produce cars in the US and export them but it must not import cars from China, according to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Tesla is keen to import and sell its electric vehicles in India and has been lobbying officials in New Delhi for almost a year to lower tariffs, which Elon Musk, the company’s billionaire CEO, claims are among the highest in the world.
“Making in China and selling here is not a good proposition,” Mr Nitin Gadkari, said during a government conference.
All efforts have come to a halt since Tesla has yet to unveil a solid plan to invest in India, a move that would support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative to stimulate local manufacturing and generate employment.
According to a statement on the website of India’s ministry of road transport and highways, Tesla gained authorisation in August to manufacture or import four models. Tesla makes cars at plants in the United States and China, while a second facility in Germany is awaiting final permission.