Tesla to discuss factory plan for new $24,000 car with India commerce minister -source
By Aditi Shah and Aditya Kalra
NEW DELHI, July 24 (Reuters) -Tesla representatives are set to meet India’s commerce minister this month to discuss plans to build a factory to produce what the company has described as an all-new $24,000 car, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Tesla has expressed an interest in building a factory in India that would produce low-cost electric vehicles (EVs) for the local market and for export, the person said, adding that the company had indicated that it would be for the new vehicle.
The meeting with the commerce minister would be the highest level discussions between Tesla and the Indian government since June when Elon Musk met India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he intended to make a significant investment in the country.
The 2 million rupee ($24,000) EV Tesla representatives were said to have described in discussions about a potential Indian plant would be 25% cheaper than its current lowest priced offering, the Model 3 sedan which sells for the equivalent of just over $32,200 in China.
The $24,000 target price for the new Tesla vehicle was reported earlier this month by The Times of India newspaper.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reuters reported in May that Tesla executives visited India and held talks with officials on establishing a manufacturing base for cars and batteries in India.
Discussions with Indian government officials in New Delhi are scheduled to resume this month, two people with knowledge of the talks, who asked not to be named because the discussions remain private, told Reuters.
As part of that, Tesla representatives are set to meet Indian commerce minister Piyush Goyal, the first person said, and discussions are expected to centre around setting up an EV supply chain and discussing land allotment for a factory.
The commerce ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Additional reporting by Shivangi Acharya and Nikunj Ohri; Editing by Kevin Krolicki, Kirsten Donovan
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