It’s no great secret that Dyson, the British firm best known for its hand dryers and bagless vacuum cleaners, is working on an electric car. However, it’s now been revealed that the Dyson electric car will be manufactured in Singapore, not Britain, despite company founder James Dyson’s pro-Brexit stance.
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The announcement comes as Dyson steps up its plans to take on rival US automotive firms, such as Tesla, and European rivals like Audi, Jaguar and BMW.
Dyson picked Singapore as its home for electric car manufacturing thanks to its proximity to “high-growth markets” in Asia. It’s believed that the Dyson plant will be completed by 2020, with cars set to launch in 2021.
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The move isn’t actually all that surprising as Dyson already uses Singapore to manufacture electric motors for its other products. It currently employs 1,100 staff in the island nation and it’s believed this will double once its new electric car facility has been completed.
Despite the shift to expand jobs in Singapore, Dyson has also doubled-down on its UK locations. Its electric car research facilities are based in Wiltshire and, in August, it announced plans to expand this location by another 2,000 employees. In doing so, it’s hoped that Dyson can compete in a space dominated by the likes of Google, Apple, Alphabet and Elon Musk’s various operations.
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In a memo to staff, company CEO Jim Rowan explained that the company’s decision to pick Singapore was “complex, based on supply chains, access to markets, and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions.”
The cynic in me says that, if Brexit wasn’t a thing, such a statement could have also been said about future operations in the UK. However, Rowan also highlighted that Singapore not only has a lot of engineering talent but that such a move does have a “comparatively high cost-base”, so it’s clear Dyson’s decisions aren’t simply down to money.