SII’s Poonawalla Urges Musk to Produce Tesla Cars in India

SII's Poonawalla Urges Musk to Produce Tesla Cars in India

(File photo) Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla speaks at the ‘AIMA Leadership Conclave’ in New Delhi.

Photo: PTIA

New Delhi: Serum Institute of India general manager Adar Poonawalla insisted Elon Musk to invest some of the money the latter tries to acquire Twitterto build a production facility for: Tesla in India, in case Musk doesn’t end up buying Twitter.

In a tweet on Sunday, Poonawalla told Musk it’s “the best investment you’ll ever make.”

“Hi @elonmusk, in case you don’t end up buying @Twitter, look at investing some of that capital in INDIA for large scale production of high quality @Tesla cars. I assure you this is the best investment that you ever will,” Poonawalla wrote.

Tesla’s plans to enter India are thwarted by India’s high tariffs on imported cars. The electric car maker has lobbied hard to get India to cut customs duties, which it says are the highest in the world. The Indian government, on the other hand, wants Tesla to source locally and produce cars locally.

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Tesla investors are concerned about Musk’s proposed $44 billion bid, which will go through if the world’s richest man can raise money for it. Shares of Tesla, which has become one of the world’s most valuable companies in the past two years, have fallen 24% since Musk announced a 9.6% stake in the social media platform. Musk will have to sell the shares of the electric car company, in which he is the largest shareholder, to finance the acquisition of Twitter. A development that worries Tesla investors and puts pressure on the stock, analysts say.

Musk says he has a plan to unleash Twitter’s true potential — starting by easing the platform’s content moderation policies and rolling out a fee-based subscription model for some users — but the argument has so far been few and far between.

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Bill Gates is one of the leading voices who don’t think Musk’s takeover of Twitter is a good idea. Aswath Damodaran, a professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, recently told the New York Times that the deal “doesn’t make sense” from a financial standpoint. But Musk is known to prove analysts and pundits wrong — as evidenced by the success of Tesla and SpaceX, which have been written off time and again by Wall Street honchos.