Musk postpones India visit due to heavy Tesla commitments

Musk postpones India visit due to heavy Tesla commitments

(Bloomberg) — Elon Musk postponed a visit to India that would have included a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he should tend to pressing issues at Tesla.

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“Unfortunately, Tesla's very heavy commitments require postponing the visit to India, but I am very much looking forward to the visit later this year,” the billionaire said in a post on the X website. He was scheduled to visit her for two days – April. 21 and 22 — to announce plans to enter the Indian market.

The decision to postpone comes after a hectic week at Tesla. Early Sunday, Musk announced in a memo to the company's more than 140,000 employees that he would reduce headcount by more than 10% globally. Two senior executives also left.

The company said Wednesday it will ask shareholders to vote again on a $56 billion compensation package for Musk that was invalidated by a Delaware court in January. On Friday, Tesla recalled nearly 3,900 Cybertruck pickups and cut the price of most of its vehicles in the United States by $2,000 as sales slowed and inventories rose.

The company will also report first-quarter earnings on April 23, having already reported vehicle deliveries that far exceeded estimates. The stock has fallen more than 40% this year, dropping the automaker's market value to less than $470 billion.

Musk's planned visit to India was crucial in terms of timing for him and Modi. India has begun voting in national elections as Modi seeks a third term, citing the country's economic revival. Investments from billionaires like Musk would boost his appeal among voters.

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Musk is seeking permission for SpaceX's Starlink company to operate in what would be its largest market ever. Starlink has already received assurances from the Indian government that it will be able to start operating in the country as soon as the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg reported earlier.

Tesla has also been trying to break into India for years, but high import taxes have been a deterrent — something Musk has repeatedly pointed out. Last month, India reduced import taxes on electric cars from foreign automakers, which pledged to invest at least 41.5 billion rupees ($497 million) and start producing electric cars from a local factory within three years.

A major investment by Tesla would enable Musk to capitalize on India's booming electric vehicle market and counter sluggish demand for electric vehicles elsewhere. However, Tesla watchers want to see action on the ground after seeing delays in previously announced projects such as building a massive factory in Mexico.

-With assistance from Dana Hall and Bruce Einhorn.

(Adds detail about Tesla from third paragraph.)

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