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Golden Opportunity for Tesla to Make Electric Cars in India, Says Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

File photo of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. (PTI)

File photo of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. (PTI)

Minister of Road Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari also said that he has assured the company that the government will help them set up industrial clusters in the country.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that he has invited electric vehicle (EV) major Tesla Inc to start manufacturing EVs in India. In his address at The Raisina Dialogue 2021, he said that it is golden opportunity for the company to start manufacturing in India. Gadkari also said that he has assured the company that the government will help them set up industrial clusters in the country.

“I had a video conference with Tesla management. I suggested them that it is a golden opportunity for them to start manufacturing here in India," he said.

Exuding confidence on Indian EV makers, he said that “Indian products are also improving and within two years, we will get e-vehicles of Tesla standard in Indian market."

“So, in the interest of Tesla, I suggested that you start manufacturing in India as early as possible it will be beneficial for you," he said.

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The last we heard of the EV maker was a week back when it was scouting for locations to open showrooms in three Indian cities in India. The company has hired an executive to lead its lobbying and business efforts ahead of its planned entry into the country, sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters. The electric-car maker in January registered a local company in India, where it is expected to import and sell the Model 3 sedan by as early as mid-2021, seeking to target rich customers in a niche market. The world’s most valuable automaker by market capitalisation is looking for commercial properties as large as 20,000-30,000 square feet each to open showrooms and service centres in the capital New Delhi, financial hub Mumbai in the west and tech city Bengaluru in the south, three sources said.

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Separately, Tesla has recruited Manuj Khurana, a former executive of India’s investment promotion body Invest India, in the first major hire to lead its policy and business development efforts in the country, two other sources said. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment, while Khurana declined to comment.

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