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PM Modi's US visit: Will meeting with Elon Musk convince Tesla to make cars in India?

Dr Krishna Kishore, Asianet News Chief Correspondent in the United States, has covered the visits of Indian Prime Ministers to the United States since 2009. He gives insights into what PM Narendra Modi would hope to achieve when he meets Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

PM Modi's US visit: Will meeting with Elon Musk convince Tesla to make cars in India snt
First Published Jun 20, 2023, 10:18 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet over two dozen thought leaders from various walks of life, including Tesla and Twitter owner Elon Musk, astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson and Nobel laureate economist Paul Romer in New York on Tuesday. As PM Modi gears up to meet the 24 'thought leaders', the focus is on his scheduled interaction with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Also read: PM Modi's US Visit: From Elon Musk to Jeff Smith... Prime Minister to meet over 24 'thought leaders'

Narendra Modi met Musk eight years ago in California when the PM toured the Tesla factory to learn more about electric vehicle manufacturing and battery storage technologies. The rumour doing the rounds then was whether Tesla would pick India as a manufacturing destination. That has not come to fruition yet — with India and Tesla not fully aligned on the operating model. 

India wants Tesla to build electric vehicles locally in India, but before making that commitment, Tesla wants to see the demand for its cars through imports. But India has not yet agreed to Tesla’s request to lower import duties in India, which could amount to as much as 100 per cent. The impasse has not been solved and all eyes are on the Modi - Musk meeting to see if there will be a path forward. 

Also read: PM Modi's US Visit: State visit sends a special message

Tesla is on the lookout for a new manufacturing facility outside the United States —Musk is priming to make that decision by the end of this year. In an earlier interview, Musk said Tesla was “absolutely” interested in India. However, it remains to be seen if both India and Tesla can come to terms with the operating model for manufacturing in India. 

If India succeeds in convincing Tesla to build in India, it will be a huge boost to spurring innovation and undoubtedly sets a great platform for large-scale manufacturing in India.

According to officials, author Nicholas Nassim Taleb, investor Ray Dalio, Falu Shah, Jeff Smith, Michael Froman, Daniel Russel, Elbridge Colby, Peter Agre, Stephen Klasko, and Chandrika Tandon are among the noteworthy individuals PM Modi will meet. They claimed there would be discussions about how to increase synergy, how to comprehend US advances, and how to invite individuals to work with India.

Also read: PM Modi's US Visit: 'Opportunity to enrich depth of ties...' Prime Minister emplanes for State visit (WATCH)

They stated that PM Modi frequently interacts with thought leaders in the nations he travels to in order to strengthen interpersonal connections. 

The UN leadership and representatives of the world community will join PM Modi in the city to mark the world Day of Yoga at the UN Headquarters. From June 21 to 24, Modi will be in the US at the invitation of Joe and Jill Biden, the president and first lady of the country. On June 22, they will host Modi at a state supper. The prime minister will also speak to a joint session of the US Congress on June 22 as part of the tour. 

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