A change to a Tesla LinkedIn profile renews speculation about an India Gigafactory

“Next year for sure.”
“Next year for sure.”
Image: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo
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Another tiny development involving Tesla and India is seeing fresh chatter that the US automaker will place a Gigafactory in India.

A recent change to the geographical location in the LinkedIn profile of Chandrashekar Chandramowleeswaran, a Tesla supply chain manager previously based in the Netherlands, caught the eye of Tesla’s fans in India. The profile now states that Chandramowleeswaran has been based in Mumbai since August and also showed a title change to “global supply manager” from “supply operations manager.” It is unclear when the profile change, which was publicized on Twitter by an unofficial Tesla fan club, took place.

Chandramowleeswaran and Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment.

At present, Tesla operates four fully operational factories, three in the US, and one in Shanghai, in China. It is also establishing another US factory in Austin, Texas, and one in Germany.

Last year Musk had hinted about the possibility of another Gigafactory in Asia outside China, but didn’t specify India.

So far, Tesla hasn’t started selling in India despite registering an India unit at the start of year in the tech hub of Bengaluru in the southern state of Karnataka. Recently, an unexpected Model 3 ride by a transport official in the Narendra Modi government with a Tesla India executive also made electrical vehicle enthusiasts hopeful that the countdown has begun for the company’s Indian debut. Musk has pointed to high import taxes as one of the main obstacles in the company’s entry to India.

Reacting to this, the Indian government has said that it’s time the US firm think about manufacturing its models locally and then maybe tax concessions could follow.

“Our government wants some forward-looking plans from Tesla in order to provide rebates in import duties. So hopefully we will see some action from Tesla soon,” said Nikhil Chaudhary, a college student and co-founder of the Tesla Club India.