Dyson has decided to build its electric cars in Singapore. The UK company plans to begin operations in its new factory in Singapore later this year with the first car scheduled to roll off the production line in 2021.
Dyson said the decision was based on the availability of engineering talent, regional supply chains and proximity to some key target markets.
Cost was not a consideration.
Singapore is one of the most expensive territories in the world to do business and space for manufacturing is at a premium in the city-state.
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The company has previously said it will commit £2bn to the project, including £200m to be spent in the UK on research and development and test track facilities – much of which has already been spent.
Dyson insisted the decision to locate production in Asia, rather than the UK, had nothing to do with Brexit.
Stuck in its ways
Dyson has always done its manufacturing outside the UK and so its decision to situate its electric car factory in Singapore is sticking to that trend.
Anyways, Dyson has earned credit for tripling its UK workforce to 4,800 over the last five years and establishing an engineering institute on the site of an old air base which it has renovated.
The company currently has 1,100 employees in Singapore, 1,300 in Malaysia, 1,000 in China and 800 in the Philippines.
Dyson is committing £2bn to the project
Dyson has not yet revealed what kind of batteries its new cars will use, or where they will be made.
It continues to develop both solid state (believed to charge faster and last longer) and traditional lithium ion batteries in parallel.
The company’s founder, Sir James Dyson, has been a prominent advocate for Brexit and recently insisted that the UK leaving the EU with no deal would ‘make no difference.’
Critics say he holds this position because his company manufactures outside the UK, not like other car companies who have supply chains that cut through the EU and the UK many times.
Toyota has said a ‘no deal’ Brexit will negatively impact production for it.
Several major manufacturers, including BMW, Airbus and Jaguar Land Rover – who manufacture in the UK – have recently sounded dire warnings about the impact of a no-deal Brexit on UK investment.