Tesla CEO Elon Musk has denied a burgeoning rumour that his company is planning a car plant in Russia. A Russian media outlet had reported that Tesla was planning to build a factory in Korolev near Moscow.
Elon Musk has now contradicted the report, which cites two sources in the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on Twitter: “Tesla has not yet decided on a fourth Gigafactory location.” However, the “not yet” indicates that the site search is ongoing.
India is also considered a potential location for a new plant. Tesla had set up a subsidiary in Bangalore earlier this year and announced its intention to start selling its vehicles in India this year – initially with imported models. In February, however, an Indian regional government had announced that Tesla also wanted to build a plant on the subcontinent. Having its own production facility in India could make sense for Tesla. The fact that the Californian companys’ electric cars are not yet being sold there is partly due to the high import duties.
However, the Indian government is said to be rethinking its customs policy. At least that is what the Reuters news agency recently wrote. According to this, there could be a “sharp” reduction in import duties: For electric cars with a value of less than 40,000 dollars (cost of the vehicle, insurance and freight), the rate is to drop from the current 60 to 40 per cent. For vehicles costing more than $40,000 including the aforementioned costs, the rate is to drop from the current 100 to 60 per cent.
India is the fifth largest car market in the world with around three million vehicles per year. The subcontinent largely relies on motorised two and three-wheelers for personal transport. Electric cars currently have a very small market share, and the majority of vehicles sold in India cost less than 20,000 dollars, according to Reuters.
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