Tata Electronics Finalizes Semiconductor Agreement With Tesla

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Ashok Chandak, the head of the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), highlighted that Tesla’s initiative to establish a network of domestic suppliers for electronics and subsystems demonstrates its independence from a single market. He pointed out that the primary issue lies in the domestic procurement of semiconductors. Chandak emphasized the need for supply chain enhancements, as the added value for the industrial and automotive sectors is significantly greater.

Tesla has entered into a strategic partnership with Tata Electronics to acquire semiconductor chips for its global operations, as per sources familiar with the matter. This move signifies Tesla’s growing interest in the Indian market beyond just generating local sales.

The deal, which was finalized quietly a few months back, marks a significant step for Tata Electronics, establishing it as a dependable supplier for leading global companies looking to integrate a crucial part of their semiconductor supply chain in India. Tesla, the American electric vehicle giant, is eager to penetrate the Indian market, which is among the fastest-growing automotive markets globally. Elon Musk, the face of Tesla, is expected to visit India soon for discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During this visit, Musk may reveal plans for potential investments in India, including financial commitments to electric vehicle production facilities. Tesla is recognized as the most valuable automotive company in the world by market capitalization.

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Neither Tesla nor Tata Electronics, which spearheads the Tata group’s venture into semiconductor production, have made any comments regarding the deal. The financial details and other specifics of the Tesla-Tata Electronics procurement agreement remain undisclosed.

Ashok Chandak, the president of the India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), remarked that Tesla’s strategy to cultivate a network of local suppliers for electronics and subsystems indicates its autonomy from relying solely on one market. He stressed that the main challenge is the local acquisition of semiconductors, which requires enhancements in the supply chain due to the higher value addition in the industrial and automotive sectors.

Industry analysts have varying opinions, but the consensus is that Tesla will likely invest a minimum of $2-3 billion in India for the production of electric vehicles, which currently hold a modest but growing portion of the local personal transportation market. Recent regulatory amendments have permitted automotive manufacturers to import electric vehicles valued at over $35,000 with a reduced import duty of 15%, provided they commit to investing $500 million within three years to set up manufacturing facilities in India. Tesla’s initial focus may be on high-end, feature-rich electric models for the Indian market, in addition to considering the local production of more affordable electric vehicles.

In recent times, Tata Electronics has expanded its team by hiring 50-60 high-level international experts, utilizing their vast knowledge in semiconductor technology, strategic planning, and design to enhance its business operations. Following the pandemic, Tesla has been diversifying its component sourcing options outside of China for essential electronic, electrical, and mechanical parts. The company, known for its confidentiality regarding suppliers, manufactures certain electric components in-house, such as electric motors, battery packs, and chargers, while procuring sub-assemblies and other parts from international suppliers.

Randhir Thakur, the CEO and managing director of Tata Electronics, has played a pivotal role in attracting elite talent to the company. Appointed CEO in April 2023, Thakur is a seasoned professional from Intel Foundry Services.

Tata Electronics has established semiconductor manufacturing plants in Hosur (Tamil Nadu), Dholera (Gujarat), and Assam, with ambitious plans to further expand its operations and create a robust supply network within India. The company has invested $14 billion in this venture to date. Senior officials involved in the project have indicated that Tata Electronics has made considerable investments in developing proprietary technology for these platforms and has assembled a team with over a thousand years of combined global experience to lead this initiative.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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