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Tesla Benefits In India, Where Chinese Automakers Are Under Pressure.

Tesla Benefits In India, Where Chinese Automakers Are Under Pressure.
Elon Musk might benefit if China loses the Indian market.
For its proposal to invest in India, Tesla has received a red carpet welcome, while its main competitor in the electric vehicle market, China's BYD, has been put on hold due to enhanced scrutiny from New Delhi.
As a result, Tesla may have the opportunity to negotiate terms for entry into the third-largest auto market in the world without having to worry about BYD's threat of competition as it does in other emerging markets, like Thailand.
"The future of who wins in India will have some bearing on who wins globally in the EV race," said Jasmeet Khurana of the World Economic Forum.
Following a June meeting in New York between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, conversations with Indian officials about a potential factory investment and plans to manufacture a new, low-cost $24,000 EV have moved quickly behind closed doors.
According to sources, such discussions have continued over the past week as Modi personally monitored developments and Tesla discussed minute specifics of its ambitions to enter India's rapidly expanding EV market.
However, those encounters have been rigorously kept under wraps, and officials have refrained from posting any pictures on social media of handshakes with businessmen after high-profile meetings, which is often the case.
Meanwhile, BYD seems to be losing ground. After months of requesting approval for its own $1 billion investment in India, BYD is no longer motivated to do so, according to Reuters. A additional problem is that BYD is under investigation for allegedly underpaying import duty in India.
Indian officials worry about the potential data collection and national security implications of Chinese-made automobiles, among other things. Indian officials are "uncomfortable with Chinese automakers," a government official said.
China's superiority in battery materials, battery production, and other technology could have an outsized impact on India's expanding market for EVs, even though all investments from China are subject to stricter permission requirements in India since a border conflict between the two in 2020.
Tesla wants to bring its Chinese suppliers to India, where it appears to have the upper hand in negotiations with New Delhi. These suppliers have assisted Tesla in cutting production costs at its Shanghai factory.
India has informed Tesla that it will permit the entry of its Chinese suppliers if they form alliances with national businesses, much like Apple did. However, despite the fact that BYD's $1 billion plan was also put up as a partnership with a domestic engineering business, India is wary of it.
The stated opposition to BYD's investment plan "will set off a chain reaction and deal a blow to the overall confidence of Chinese companies in investing in India," according to The Global Times, a state-run tabloid in China.
BYD has not commented on its $1 billion India proposal, but after meeting Modi, Musk stated Tesla has big intentions for the nation.
Despite obstacles, Tesla plans to increase its global automobile sales from 1.31 million in 2022 to 20 million by the year 2030.
With a total of 1.86 million units sold, BYD was the world's largest seller of EVs and plug-in hybrids in 2022, with the great majority going to China. In terms of sales of all-electric vehicles, it is behind Tesla.
"Tesla sees competition mainly with BYD, and both are expanding globally at great speed," said Gaurav Vangaal of S&P Global Mobility.
"If they want volumes, they have to come to India," he said, adding that with the government incentivising companies to build EVs locally, India can also serve as an export base.
According to projections by S&P Global Mobility, India's annual output of light electric vehicles would increase to 1.4 million by 2030, or about 19% of the 7.25 million overall predicted production. In 2022, it was less than 50,000.
Tata Motors, a local manufacturer, dominates India's developing EV market. Its best-selling Nexon EV has a starting price of $19,000, while BYD's Atto 3 and the ZS EV from MG Motors start at $28,000 and $41,000, respectively.
Mid-sized petrol SUVs with starting prices of roughly $24,000 are offered by Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia.
India is not presently a market where Tesla sells cars.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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