Tesla's senior public policy and business development executive Rohan Patel and a vice president for supply chain, Roshan Thomas, met Goyal in Delhi last week
At least one another government official was also present in the meeting, along with officials from Invest India
Elon Musk-led Tesla is working overtime to enter India and set up a manufacturing plant to produce a low-cost electric car priced at about $24,000
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal reportedly met senior Tesla executives last week in a closed-door meeting to discuss the carmaker’s plans to establish a manufacturing plant in the country.
The meeting took place days after it was widely reported that such a meeting was on the cards.
Tesla’s senior public policy and business development executive Rohan Patel and a vice president for supply chain, Roshan Thomas, met the minister and officials from Invest India during their time in the country, Reuters reported citing two people aware of the matter.
The meeting with Goyal was held in a New Delhi hotel. The Tesla executives met the minister privately, along with at least one other government official, as per the report. Meetings between Tesla and Indian officials are being kept tightly under wraps, with the government closely tracking the progress of talks, the report said.
The meeting of Tesla executives with Goyal was the most high-profile since Tesla CEO Elon Musk met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June in New York City. Following the meeting, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX had said he was keen to make investments in India, breaking years of impasse between the carmaker and the country over import duties.
Tesla has expressed interest in building a factory in India that would produce a low-cost electric vehicle (EV) priced at around $24,000 (INR 19.87 Lakhs), around 25% cheaper than Tesla’s current entry model for both the Indian market and export.
Goyal also met Tesla on July 24, with an agenda covering land allotment for its proposed plant and the establishment of an EV supply chain. The parties discussed the company’s plans during the meeting, however, no details regarding the discussions were disclosed officially.
Tesla is working overtime on its plans to enter India, with multiple meetings taking place between the government and the carmaker’s executives since mid-May. Earlier this week, it was also reported that the carmaker has leased office space in Pune.
Tesla has leased an office spread over a 5,850 sq ft. area on the first floor of Panchsil Business Park in Viman Nagar, Pune.
Tesla also wants to bring some of its Chinese vendors to India but has been asked by Indian officials to copy Apple’s playbook in the country and ask its Chinese suppliers to set up joint ventures with Indian partners to get clearance.