Elon Musk defers visit to India

Musk had earlier announced that he would be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to India.
Elon Musk
Elon MuskIANS
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Elon Musk, on Saturday, April 20, confirmed that he will not visit India this month amid crucial Tesla quarterly results and will possibly visit the country later this year to announce his investment plans. The American billionaire said that 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 added. It is expected that he would visit India after the elections.

Last week, Musk had said that he was looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The SpaceX CEO was also set to meet representatives of Indian space companies during his India visit.

Musk has a key conference call with analysts about Tesla’s latest quarter (Q1) results, after the company reduced 10% of its workforce, or around 14,000 employees — globally. The layoffs at Tesla “gutted some departments by 20% and even hit high performers,” and the decision was apparently made "due to poor financial performance.”

Two high-profile Tesla executives -- Rohan Patel, VP of Public Policy and Business Development and Drew Baglino, Tesla’s SVP of Powertrain and Energy -- have also quit. Tesla has just shelved plans to develop a low-cost EV for around $25,000.

The Tesla CEO has to address five key issues during the conference call on April 23, according to the latest report from leading investment firm Wedbush Securities. The five critical concerns are: strategies to reverse negative growth in China and pricing plans; provide clear 2024 goals and financial outlook; commit to launching Tesla Model 2 alongside robotaxis development; clarify AI initiatives and ownership concerns; and announce an AI day to outline strategy and monetisation, according to the report.

The earnings conference call might be "one of the most important moments in the company's history." A highly competitive global EV market has altered Tesla's narrative "from a Cinderella story to a horror show in the near-term," said Wedbush analysts. "If Musk is flippant again and there is no adult in the room on this conference call with no answers then darker days are ahead," according to the analysts.

“It was odd that @elonmusk 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!”, Congress secretary Jairam Ramesh said.

“When big companies show interest to come to India, we will do everything to make it attractive for them to come and invest. In that process, if there is anything to discuss, we will certainly discuss. But whatever we have done, we have done it through policy,” Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had responded when asked about Musk’s decision to defer his visit.

(With IANS inputs)

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