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‘Looking forward to meeting Modi’: Musk confirms India visit

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Less than a week after reports saying Tesla will send a team from the United States to India to study sites for an electric car plant in India, company CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that he is coming to the country.

“Looking forward to meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India!” Musk wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.

Musk will meet Prime Minister Modi tentatively on April 22 in New Delhi and is expected to disclose details about Tesla’s plans for India during his visit, reported ANI. However, the final agenda for Musk’s trip to India is yet to be confirmed.

The Financial Times had earlier reported that Tesla would send a team to study sites for a proposed $2 billion to $3 billion (£2.4bn) electric car plant in the country, focusing on states with existing automotive hubs, including Maharashtra and Gujarat in the west and Tamil Nadu in the south.

The company’s reported push into India comes at a time when electric vehicle (EV) demand is slowing in its main markets of the US and China while competition there is heating up, reported Reuters.

Musk, after meeting PM Modi last year, had said he plans to visit India in 2024. “We don’t want to jump the gun on an announcement, but I think it’s quite likely that it will be a significant investment, a relationship with India,” he had said.

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India last month lowered import taxes on certain EVs produced by automakers that commit to invest at least $500 million and start domestic manufacturing within three years, reported Reuters.

According to Fortune Business Insights, the Indian electric vehicle market is projected to grow significantly, with estimates suggesting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66.52% from 2022 to 2029.

Earlier this year in January, Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast signed an agreement to set up its first manufacturing facilities in India. VinFast and the state of Tamil Nadu agreed to work toward an investment of up to $2 billion, with an intended commitment of $500 million for the first five years of the project, reported PTI.

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