Notwithstanding United States electric car company Tesla’s move to set up a retail outlet in Bangalore, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced that its talks with the company are on to set up a manufacturing unit in the state. This was announced in the state assembly by Industries Minister Subhash Desai, who clarified that the state has not yet lost the project to Karnataka as claimed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Desai told the Free Press Journal after the house proceedings, “Our talks are underway. Tesla has shown interest to set up a production facility in Maharashtra. The company has also proposed to set up an outlet for the sale of electric vehicles in the state.”
Maharashtra is already home to a host of domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers with Chakan industrial belt near Pune, a major automobile hub in the state.
Tesla co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk had earlier said the company will enter the Indian market in 2021. In January, the company was scouting sites to open a facility in Mumbai, initially for the sale of electric cars, which will be imported here.
An official from the Industries Department, involved in the talks with the US company, had told The Free Press Journal, “Tesla has launched an extensive exercise to look for sites for the sale and marketing of its electric cars, which will be imported initially. The company will speak to Tata Power and Adani Electric about charging facilities. Besides, it will also seek charging facilities at Mumbai Port and Jawaharlal Nehru Port. The company has sought the intervention of the state government and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) so that it can kick off its plan here.”
The company's move came after Industry Minister Subhash Desai and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray had, in October 2020, invited it to set up shop in Maharashtra.