Tesla Inc has held discussions with officials about incentives being offered by India for car and battery manufacturing, said a person with direct knowledge of the talks, as the automaker looks anew at entering the Indian market.
The U.S. electric car maker has proposed setting up a factory in India to build electric vehicles (EVs), Reuters reported on Wednesday. Plans to locally manufacture EV batteries are also being discussed, said the person with direct knowledge.
Tesla is “still testing the waters and trying to understand the local policies,” said the person, who declined to be named as the talks were private.
During the visit, details of which have not been publicly disclosed by the company or any Indian ministry, Tesla on Thursday met India’s deputy IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar, one of the highest-ranking officials the company held talks with, said a source in the Indian government.
Tesla and India’s IT ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Tesla’s delegation included Karn Budhiraj, a senior supply chain executive based in the United States, the two sources said.
The discussions in India represent a shift in stance for the U.S. electric car maker.
Late last year it was focused on seeking lower import taxes on cars, which can be as much as 100%, and talks with the Indian government became deadlocked. India is keen for Tesla to build vehicles locally but the company argued it wanted to export first so that it could test the strength of demand.