Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat has offered over 400 hectares (1,000 acres) in the Mundra region to Tesla so it can set up shop in India.
Located near Gujarat’s white sand desert of Kutch, the bucolic region has an important port.
“They [Tesla] are undecided if they should come to a faraway place in Gujarat, or dig deep in Bengaluru. There is little social life in Gujarat, while it is not so in Bengaluru. They are trying to negotiate with both the Gujarat and Karnataka governments,” the Indian Express reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Back in 2015, Gujarat emerged as India's next automobile cluster with several car manufacturers establishing facilities in the state. Along with Tata Motors, Asia Motor Works, and General Motors India, Ford also has a factory there.
Tesla has hired American commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group to explore locations that will help the company reach its target market of wealthy Indians residing in Delhi, Mumbai (Maharashtra state), and Bengaluru (Karnataka state).
The electric car maker has also begun recruiting people to head its operations in India. Last month, media reported that Prashanth Menon has been appointed as director of Tesla’s India operations.
For most Indians, Tesla cars are not affordable; the cheapest is the Model 3 sedan priced at $36,990 (INR 2.7 million) – Musk plans to bring it to the Indian market by mid-2021.