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Tesla Begins Producing Right-Hand Drive Cars in Germany for Export to India: Report

Tesla, led by CEO Elon Musk, has started producing right-hand drive cars at its German plant for export to India later this year, according to three unnamed sources.
Tesla officials have long expressed interest in the Indian market and have visited the country multiple times.

Musk also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last June.

Additionally, Tesla is reportedly considering investing about $2 billion in India for local car manufacturing.

The Indian government recently reduced import taxes on electric vehicles if their manufacturers invest at least $500 million and start local production within three years.

Tesla has secured lower taxes for importing cars into India after months of lobbying, despite opposition from local carmakers.

The first indication of right-hand drive (RHD) cars being produced in Tesla's factory near Berlin has emerged, with some due for shipment to India by the end of the year.

It's unclear which Tesla model will be exported, as the company currently only produces the Model Y at the Berlin site.

The new Indian policy allows companies to import up to 8,000 cars annually at the lower tax rate.

Tesla has not yet commented on the matter.

Tesla imported Right-Hand Drive Model Y vehicles for the UK launch from China, but it's unclear if they have started importing from Berlin.

Tesla has been exploring the Indian market for years and has visited several times, with CEO Elon Musk meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi last June.

Tesla's entry into India comes as EV demand slows in the US and China markets and competition intensifies from Chinese players, causing Tesla to report lower first-quarter deliveries.

Tesla's plans for India include investing in a charging network and sourcing more components locally, with one source stating that Tesla is looking to reduce sourcing from China and make India a bigger sourcing hub.

Tesla already imports parts from India and is now considering increasing local sourcing.

Tesla is considering building a factory in India in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, or Gujarat, with plans to complete construction in two years.

India's electric vehicle (EV) market is expanding, with domestic automaker Tata Motors currently leading the sector.

In 2023, electric models accounted for 2% of total car sales, but the Indian government aims to increase this to 30% by 2030.

In January 2023, Tesla's Vietnamese competitor VinFast announced a $2 billion investment in India and began constructing an EV factory in Tamil Nadu.

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