Tesla prepares its own offensive in India. The Palo Alto automaker appears to have convinced the government of the fifth automotive market largest in the world to reduce import duties for electric cars. According to what was leaked, the country would be ready to lower tariffs from 60% to 100% on the most expensive electric vehicles, namely those that exceed $ 40,000 of list price, and to do the same but from 40% to 60% on those with a lower market value.
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“The tariff reduction has not yet been confirmed, but I can say that there are a number of discussions going on about it”, an Indian government official told Reuters – It is true that reducing import duties is not a problem, as not many electric vehicles are imported into the country. But we need to make an economic gain from this, while balancing the concerns of local competitors “. It should be remembered that in India most of the vehicles sold are worth less than $ 20,000: of these, only a small percentage are 100% electric models, not to mention that the premium ones, those against which Tesla would compete, are really an extremely small share. Tesla herself, however, had been clear: the construction of an Indian Gigafactory it would have been very likely if the government had reduced import duties.
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The main obstacle for the Indian government is the tough one resistence that local companies are preparing to do, whose business would undoubtedly be undermined by a possible reduction in tariffs that would allow automotive giants, just like Tesla, to enter the local market. Indian automakers are trying to put their case forward, but it looks like the government is actually ready to yield to Tesla’s advances and can thus proceed with the reduction of duties, thus increasing the number of vehicles imported each year from abroad (today there are 35,000).