Tesla chief executive Elon Musk says the firm is looking to invest in India and bring the electric carmaker to the country “as soon as humanly possible.”
Musk said he had a “very good” conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and is hopeful that they will be able to “announce something in the not too distant future.”
The dialog comes at a time when Tesla and New Delhi have revived talks about incentives to bring the carmaker to the South Asian market. SpaceX representatives have also revived conversations with the telecom ministry in India in recent weeks for setting up satellite internet service Starlink in the country, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Musk has been looking to bring Tesla to India for several years. He previously stated the plan to bring the carmaker to the country as early as 2021, but has resisted making large commitments until New Delhi offers considerable incentives.
Tesla won’t set up a manufacturing plant in India until it is first allowed to sell and service imported cars in the South Asian nation, Musk said last year, more than a year after an Indian state said that the electric carmaker was planning to open a plant in the southern part of the country.
Musk said Tuesday he was a “big fan” of Modi.
“India has more promise than any large country in the world. He really cares about India because he’s pushing us to make significant investments in India, which is something we intend to do. We are just trying to figure out the right timing,” he said.
Musk said Tuesday that he was also looking forward to bringing Starlink to the country, but did not offer a specific timeline. Starlink, part of SpaceX, registered its business in India in late 2021 and hired a top executive to run the local business.
Sanjay Bhargava, the executive hired for Starlink India, stepped down weeks later after the Indian government ordered the SpaceX division to stop taking orders for the devices as it didn’t have the license to operate in the South Asian market.
Musk’s meeting with Modi follows explosive revelation from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey earlier this month that India regularly ordered the social media giant to remove certain posts and accounts, often accompanying these demands with threats of legal repercussions in cases of noncompliance.