NEW DELHI: South African-born billionaire Elon Musk’s run-in with the Indian authorities has been, to put it mildly, not fruitful.
Earlier this year, the Tesla chief hit a roadblock with the Indian Government over the issue of import duties. Musk was insistent on GOI slashing the higher import duties and consequently incentivising its entry into South Asian market. Along with that he wanted the Government to allow, in the initial phase, exclusively to sell and service cars. However, the Indian Government wants Tesla to manufacture-and-sell in India, and not import from China and sell-inIndia.
Musk’s stance invited speculations, what if in future Tesla does not find it feasible to set up production plants in India. For India, it would have been lose-lose scenario. It would not have been a first instance when a multinational company packed it bags and left Indian market. Ford, General Motors, Harley Davidson have already done it.
Another initiative by Musk, Starlink, a satellite-based internet service, faced trouble when it tried to pre-book without acquiring the required licence. It was barred pre-ordering in November 2021. The situation led to the resignation of its India head Sanjay Bhargava in January this year and a promise of refunds for pre-orders.