Amid major speculations surrounding the announcement of a new Tesla plant in Gujarat during the ongoing Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024, government officials confirmed that Elon Musk will not be in attendance of the event.
Managing Director of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation Rahul Gupta confirmed on Wednesday that Tesla founder Elon Musk will not come to Gujarat for the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, but his company is welcome to make investments in the state.
A state government official told PTI, “Musk is not expected. If he were to come, would he not attend the inaugural session? Will he be attending the seminars on day 2 and day 3?”
Speculations of Musk coming to India in January were rife after the state government of Gujarat had said in December that they are “very hopeful” that Tesla will set up a plant in the state, in the midst of the growing electric vehicle market.
Gujarat government officials had said that Musk is looking at Gujarat as his “first choice” to enter the Indian market with Tesla. Government spokesperson Rushikesh Patel said in December, “Gujarat has been on his mind ever since he began a survey in India to find a suitable location to set up the plant.”
What’s on cards for Tesla in India?
Elon Musk, the founder and chief of world’s biggest electric car producer Tesla, had expressed last year that he has plans to visit India in 2024, likely to expand the business of his companies in the country.
Sources quoted by the Times of India said that Tesla is in touch with Centre to explore setting up a plant in Gujarat soon. The state of Gujarat has been a frontrunner when it comes to setting up a Tesla plant, especially since it has emerged as an automobile hub for brands like Tata, Ford and Suzuki.
Elon Musk had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to the United Stated in June 2023, holding discussions about setting up an electric car factory in India. Tesla had also previously talked about investing up to $2 billion in India to set up an EV factory.
The main obstacle to cross for a potential partnership between Tesla and the Indian government is the 15% to 20% concession sought by the car company on import duties of cars for at least the first two years.