Dyson to make electric cars in Singapore

Marco Green
October 23, 2018

The company, which makes vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and lately also a clever curling wand for hair, has confirmed a Singaporean location for the two-storey facility that will produce its first, "low-volume" premium electric vehicle.

Building of the facility is scheduled to be completed in 2020 and forms part of the company's £2.5 billion global investors drive in the new technology.

James Dyson, the billionaire British inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, has chosen to build his electric auto in Singapore to be close to Asian customers, supply chains and a highly skilled workforce.

Dyson Chief Executive Jim Rowan said: "The decision of where to make our auto is complex, based on supply chains, access to markets, and the availability of the expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions".

The company, best known for its cordless vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and fans, said Singapore offered access to high-growth markets, an extensive supply chain and a highly skilled workforce.

Rowan also highlighted the availability of engineering talent in Singapore, in spite of its "comparatively high cost base". "It is therefore the right place to make high-quality technology loaded machines, and the right place to make our electric vehicle", he said.

Best for Britain, an anti-Brexit campaign group, called the news "astonishing".

Dyson will build its new electric auto in Singapore, the manufacturer announced on Tuesday, as it steps up plans to take on big United States rivals in automotive technology.

"When even someone who claims there will be a resurgence in British manufacturing after Brexit isn't prepared to put his money where his mouth is, it raises serious questions about the future of our economy and the impact on jobs and livelihoods as a result of Brexit".

Singapore is a densely populated city-state and one of the world's most expensive places to own a vehicle. In August of this year it announced the opening of an electric vehicle test center at one of its existing sites in the UK.

Electric vehicles are increasing in popularity as governments worldwide drive forward plans to gradually phase out polluting petrol and diesel cars.

Despite the backlash on Twitter over manufacturing outside of the UK, Dyson has not made any of its products on home soil since 2002. However, it has been pointed out that Singapore already has lucrative trade agreements with China and a pending deal with the European Union that the United Kingdom, needless to say, does not. Revenues leapt 40 percent to £3.5 billion.

Dyson employs more than 12,000 people across the world, with 4,800 working in the UK.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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