scorecardElon Musk cancels trip to India as Tesla's struggles continue in the US
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Elon Musk cancels trip to India as Tesla's struggles continue in the US

BI India Bureau   

Elon Musk cancels trip to India as Tesla's struggles continue in the US
Tech2 min read
  • Elon Musk's intended visit to India involved his meeting with PM Modi this month.
  • Musk cited "heavy Tesla obligations" in an X post on Saturday as the cause for the delay.
Elon Musk has postponed his trip to India amid the ongoing chaos at Tesla.

Musk announcement the decision via X — the social media site he purchased two years ago — on Saturday. The Tesla CEO was expected to visit India early next week to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Unfortunately, very heavy Tesla obligations require that the visit to India be delayed, but I do very much look forward to visiting later this year," Musk wrote.

Musk didn't publicly share many details about the trip, but sources told Reuters he planned to announce a $2 to $3 billion investment in India. Musk wants to build a new factory in India, where the EV market is tiny but gaining steam, the outlet reported.

The planned visit from Elon Musk coincided with the ongoing National Lok Sabha Elections in India. He confirmed on X that his visit would include a possible meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after which it was expected that they would together announce Tesla's official entry to India. While this might have benefitted the ruling party amid the crucial elections, the opposition is now capitalising on the delay in Musk's visit.

On Saturday, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote on X, "It was odd that Elon Must was coming all the way to India to meet an outgoing Prime Minister. He too has now read the writing on the wall and decided to put off his visit. INDIA’s PM will welcome him soon, and the INDIA Government will promote electric vehicles even more aggressively - I myself am a user of one!"

Musk hinted at India's growing EV market in an X post last week. "India commits to sell only electric cars by 2030. It is already the largest market for solar power," he wrote.

Musk's decision to postpone coincides with Tesla sharing its Q1 earnings on April 23, when Musk and investors will reckon with the company's tumultuous start to 2024.

BI reported in early April that Musk's Tesla has struggled to compete in China's EV market as rival companies make "aggressive price cuts." An equities strategist told BI that Tesla's troubles in China likely contributed to the company's first-quarter delivery miss.

Around that time, Tesla stock slid 7%.

By mid-April, Musk announced that Tesla would layoff 10% of its global workforce in an internal memo to staff. The recent layoffs were further bogged down by reports that some employees received "incorrectly low" severance packages. Another round of layoffs hit its recruiting department on Friday.

Tesla also recently recalled almost 4,000 of its Cybertrucks over faulty accelerator pedals. Musk wrote on X that Tesla was unaware of any "injuries or accidents" related to the problem.

"We are just being very cautious," Musk wrote.

Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.