‘Picking China over India will rob Musk’

Wadhwa’s statement follows Musk’s abrupt cancellation of his India visit, where he was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and unveil a $3 billion investment plan, opting instead to appear in China shortly afterward….reports Asian Lite News

Indian-American academic, entrepreneur and author Vivek Wadhwa on Monday said that he had warned the Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk not to pick China as they would “rob him blind” and instead asked him to consider moving manufacturing to India.

Quoting the Director of Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies, Theresa Fallon, in a post on X, who said that US and European automakers are failing in China because “they were looking only for short-term gain and transferring technology, management techniques and know-how to China,” Wadhwa said that he had “exchanged emails with Musk about the risks in China a few years ago.”

“Elon is going to be the biggest loser here. I warned him they would rob him blind and urged him to consider moving manufacturing to India instead, where he would have dominated the market by now,” he wrote.

Wadhwa’s post comes after Musk, who was set to visit India, meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and announce a $3 billion investment, cancelled the trip at the last minute, only to appear in China days later.

In April, the tech billionaire said that he would not visit India amid crucial Tesla quarterly results and will possibly visit the country later this year to announce his investment plans.

Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on his ongoing visit to China, said that he is a big fan of the country and that many people are his admirers there.

The billionaire said this during a meeting with Ren Hongbin, the Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) on Sunday.

“I’m a big fan of China. I have to say that,” Musk was heard saying in a now widely shared video on X.

“I also have a lot of fans in China, well the feelings are reciprocated,” he added.

Musk made an “unannounced and surprising” visit to Beijing on Sunday, where he also met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

“We have known each other now for many years, since early Shanghai days,” said Musk in a post on X.com along with a picture with Qiang.

“Tesla’s business in China is a successful example of Sino-American economic and trade cooperation,” Premier Li Qiang was quoted as saying by CCTV News.

Lauding the hard work and wisdom of the Chinese, Musk said: “Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory is the company’s best-performing one. Tesla is willing to further deepen cooperation with the Chinese side to achieve more win-win results.”

Meanwhile, Musk’s visit has also raised hopes for bringing Tesla’s autopilot and supervised full self-driving (FSD) technology to China, known to be the Electric Vehicle maker’s second-biggest market.

Musk was earlier, this month, expected to visit India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the tech billionaire scrapped the plan amid crucial Tesla quarterly results and will possibly visit the country later this year to announce his investment plans.

When asked by a user “Why he didn’t visit India first?” Musk replied, “I meet with more foreign leaders than our sitting President”.

Tesla Tops BEV Sales Again

Elon Musk-run Tesla has regained the top position in BEV (battery electric vehicle) sales in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, despite a 9 per cent (year-on-year) decline, a new report showed on Monday.

Tesla takes the top spot in BEV sales with a 19 per cent market share in Q1, according to Counterpoint Research.

Among the top three OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), only BYD Group achieved growth with 13 per cent (year-on-year), while both Tesla and Volkswagen experienced drops of 9 per cent and 4 per cent (year-on-year), respectively.

According to the report, global passenger EV (BEV+PHEV) sales increased 18 per cent (year-on-year) in Q1 this year.

While BEV sales grew by a modest 7 per cent (year-on-year) during the quarter, PHEV (plug-in hybrid EV) sales grew 46 per cent (year-on-year).

“The cheaper upfront cost of PHEVs when compared to BEVs and the availability of a fuel tank that eliminates range anxiety were among the main reasons for high PHEV demand,” said Research Analyst Abhik Mukherjee.

As per the report, Tesla and BYD have managed to trim their BEV manufacturing costs, allowing them to offer competitive prices.

This has put pressure on other automakers like Ford and GM which are struggling to reduce their manufacturing costs. While analysts believe the EV market is set for significant growth in 2024, there are also signs of a slowdown and annual growth could fall below 20 per cent.

“The levelling off of early-adopter interest suggests a shift in consumer dynamics to the mass market in the long term and a new phase of evolution for the EV industry,” said Associate Director Liz Lee.

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